Sunday, September 12, 2004

Identifying exactly who was forced into Bush's place in Vietnam

This post by Matthew Yglesias included the side comment, "Some other young Texan was forced against his will to serve in Lt. Bush's stead". It occurred to me that it might be possible to identify exactly who it was that was forced to go, learn what happened to him, and ask him what he thinks about how things worked out.

The way I'd guess it would work is to figure out who was the last Texan conscripted by the Texas draft board and later sent to Vietnam in the month that Bush got into the "Champagne Unit" of the Texas guard (I think that would have been May 1968). Arguably, this man would be the one that was sent instead of Bush. One thing wrong with that reasoning is that this man would probably be first on the list in the following month, June 1968. Bush did do him the favor of sending this man to Vietnam a month earlier that he would've gone. Would be interesting to find out what happened to this man in his first month in Vietnam.

Since this guy went to Vietnam a month early, though, he also leaves a month early, and somebody has to take his place a month early. The last man conscripted and later sent to Vietnam in the month that our Bush Replacement left also gets the privilege of serving in W's place (arguably). I believe Vietnam rotations were for six months, so there were probably 10-11 men that went to Vietnam a month early for W's sake, and finally one additional conscript at the very end of that chain, right before they stopped sending draftees to Vietnam, who would not have gone at all.

The main point is to put a human face on the cost that Bush's family imposed by using influence to get him into the Champagne Unit. It's something that the media could do.

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