At the same time, I apologize to you on behalf of our citizens, for being asked to serve in some less-than-optimal situations. None of you should have been asked to fight in Iraq without the full support of the Bush administration. Because the administration sent you to fight but failed to provide adequate troops and equipment, I apologize to you. Because the administration asked you to deploy without adequate preparation on their part, for the aftermath of your inevitable victory, I apologize to you. Because the administration continues to ask you to fight, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, while simultaneously cutting veterans’ benefits here at home, to fund tax cuts for already-wealthy Americans, I apologize to you. Because the administration asks you to continue to fight while chanting the mantra "stay the course" and offering no further help to you, I apologize to you.One has to wonder if the lack of support is because so many in the current administration never served.
The brave men and women of the Armed Forces that came before you managed to win two world wars and protect freedom and democracy in Europe and elsewhere, always without resorting to torture, secret prisons and domestic spying. Because the current administration had abandoned these core American principles and instead has embraced their opposites with such gusto, I apologize to you.
You, our Armed Forces personnel, deserve better than what the current administration has ever delivered to you.
[From Working Life]
Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V Purple Hearts.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea
Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve.
House Whip Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year Nat'l Guard commitment (in four).
Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Pundits & Preachers
Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.