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Did Al Gore Serve in Vietnam?
Rrghtgirl ^ | October 9, 2000 | By Carolyn Gargaro

Posted on 06/01/2010 3:20:07 PM PDT by DBCJR

Did Al Gore serve in Vietnam? Yes, he did. He spent five months there as a reporter/journalist.

"Mr. Gore enlisted in the Army on Aug. 7, 1969, reporting to Fort Dix, N.J. He was based at Fort Rucker, Ala., working as an information specialist. For a reason neither he nor the military can explain, Mr. Gore would remain at Fort Rucker for a lengthy period awaiting orders." "When they finally came, he would spend less than five months in Vietnam, arriving on Jan. 8, 1971, to write newspaper and magazine articles. He was discharged on May 24, 1971." (The Washington Times National Weekly Edition Nov. 28 - Dec. 4, 1994)

A five month stay in Vietnam is less than half the normal tour. Gore asked for and received an "early out" that May at a time when the 20th Engineers were standing down as part of a gradual U.S. troop reduction. (Washington Post. 12/31/99 pg. A1)

I know what people are thinking. They're probably thinking, "So? Your point is....?" The point is, I believe that Gore has misrepresented his Vietnam activities. Gore stated that he was "shot at" and that "I spent most of my time in the field" (The Washington Post, 2/3/88). In a March 1988 Vanity Fair article, Gore described his travel to various firebases where members of his engineering company were at work: "I took my turn regularly on the perimeter in these little firebases out in the boonies. Something would move, we'd fire first and ask questions later." Gore also stated to the Baltimore Sun that, "I pulled my turn on the perimeter at night and walked through the elephant grass, and I was fired upon." (reported in the Los Angeles Times 10/15/99 and The Washington Post 12/31/99) Gore had an M-16 rifle assigned to him, which he carried on only a few occasions. However, Gore refers to having an M-16 assigned to him, as well showing photographs of him with the rifle in political ads, as if carrying or using the rifle was something he did on a regular basis. (The Washington Post 12/31/99, The Washington Post 6/27/99)

According to Michael O'Hara, Gore's closest army buddy, "We never pulled guard duty in the field because we weren't part of those units. The only place we stood guard was back at Bien Hoa," the secure base where Gore lived. "It was the equivalent of being a school crossing guard. I know guys that didn't even take their rifles with them." (The National Review, November, 1999) Other soldiers with long experience in Vietnam said that Gore was treated differently from his fellow enlistees. H. Alan Leo, a photographer in the press brigade office where Gore worked as a reporter, said soldiers were ordered to keep Gore out of harm's way. "It blew me away," Leo said. "I was to make sure he didn't get into a situation he could not get out of. They didn't want him to get into trouble. So we went into the field after the fact [after combat actions], and that limited his exposure to any hazards." (Los Angeles Times 10/15/99) Leo described his half-dozen or so trips into the field with Gore as situations where "I could have worn a tuxedo." (Newsweek, 12/6/99) Gore's story changed to the more "accurate" version in his October 1999 interview with Talk magazine, though he wasn't asked why the story has now changed.

In Gore's first debate with Bill Bradley in October, 1999, Gore emphasized numerous times that he "came back from Vietnam." Do people really believe that this wasn't mentioned to give to give the impression that he went to Vietnam and fought for a period of time? Why else would he continually mention this? Other statements about Gore's service also lead to the conclusion that he served in a combat role. In a Hardball rebroadcast on September 6, 1999, Chris Matthews, when speaking to Pat Buchanan, stated, "He [Al Gore] also fought in Vietnam, I mean, he served in Vietnam in a military capacity." This comment was preceded by a discussion of the baby boomer generation, and Pat Buchanan's comments about how many baby boomers fought in Vietnam. In November 1998, Gore attended an unveiling of three new postage stamps which recalled the fighting men of World War II and those who supported them on the home front. Gore is referred to as a Vietnam Veteran. (http://caller-times.com/autoconv/newsus98/newsus145.html) Yes, Gore is a Vietnam Veteran, but if Gore is at a ceremony which honors those who have fought in combat, and he is then referred to as a veteran, does this not imply that he too, fought in combat?

This of course isn't meant to be misleading -- right? I am sure he assumes everyone will realize that he served by spending five months writing articles. When Gore talks about "serving in Vietnam" and "carrying an M-16" and "being shot at" I'm sure he isn't expecting that people will assume he fought in combat, right?

Sure, and I have a private jet in my backyard. Really. A water jet on my sprinkler system! I am sure that by saying "jet" everyone assumed I was referring to my sprinkler, right?

People have also e-mailed me and claimed that Republicans such as Dan Quayle dodged the draft while Gore served his country. "Quayle and others just served in the National Guard," they cry. "They got preferential treatment because of who they were!" First, many people legally signed up for the National Guard instead of waiting for their draft notice. It wasn't just a "way for the rich to avoid serving" as some people often conclude. In fact, some National Guard units were called into combat. Company D, the most highly decorated Army in Vietnam, was a National Guard unit from Muncie, Indiana. Obviously, the chance of being called to Vietnam if one was in the National Guard was slim, but some units were called. I doubt those in Company D, who lost their lives in Vietnam, would be considered draft-dodgers. In addition, if one voluntarily enlisted in the Army, rather than taking a chance and waiting for a draft notice, he usually was not sent into combat and was instead given behind-the-lines jobs. According to Army historians, the fact that Gore enlisted, avoiding the vagaries of the draft, increased the likelihood that he would get the job he wanted. In practice, they said, the military favored those who joined voluntarily. (Washington Post 12/30/99)

Secondly, if people believe that those who enlisted in the National Guard "got in" because of preferential treatment, then they should acknowledge that Gore may have also received preferential treatment. If people conclude that entrance to the National Guard was based on preference, then they should acknowledge that it may not just be a coincidence that Al Gore, son of Senator Al Gore, landed a spot as a journalist for five months.

I must emphasize that the issue is not the fact that Gore served in Vietnam as a journalist, but that he and others, I feel, have tried to misrepresent his level of service. It is also hypocritical to on one hand, paint anyone who served in the National Guard as a draft-dodger who obtained preferential treatment, and on the other hand, deny that Gore could have benefited the same way.

If people want to talk about draft dodgers, perhaps they ought to start a discourse about Bill Clinton.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: algore; military; vietnam

1 posted on 06/01/2010 3:20:07 PM PDT by DBCJR
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To: DBCJR

I hear John Kerry did.


2 posted on 06/01/2010 3:21:04 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: Retired Greyhound

THREE purple hearts!!


3 posted on 06/01/2010 3:23:03 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Retired Greyhound

And he spent the Christmas of 1968 in Cambodia due to President Nixon’s orders.


4 posted on 06/01/2010 3:25:07 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Retired Greyhound

John Kerry did what? Are you kidding??? Come on now.


5 posted on 06/01/2010 3:27:33 PM PDT by mc5cents
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To: DBCJR
Yes, he did!!

. . . . .in "Special" forces.

6 posted on 06/01/2010 3:31:49 PM PDT by skeptoid
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To: DBCJR
Gore was "in country" but that is about it. He was carefully sequestered from any danger.
7 posted on 06/01/2010 3:32:57 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: mc5cents

I think Kerry mentioned his Vietnam service once or twice.


8 posted on 06/01/2010 3:33:08 PM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: DBCJR

Gore went. He may have had a short stay, and he may not have been a grunt, but he went. He deserves credit for that.


9 posted on 06/01/2010 3:33:37 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: DBCJR

Wasn’t Algore a “journalist”?


10 posted on 06/01/2010 3:33:56 PM PDT by kevinm13 (Tim Geithner is a tax cheat. Manmade "Global Warming" is a HOAX!)
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To: DBCJR

Not a Rocket Scientist then either...
11 posted on 06/01/2010 3:34:56 PM PDT by Kozak (USA 7/4/1776 to 1/20/2009 Reqiescat in Pace)
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To: skeptoid

“Fortunate Son” as sang by Credence Clearwater


12 posted on 06/01/2010 3:35:22 PM PDT by newfreep (Palin/DeMint 2012 - Bolton: Secy of State)
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To: DBCJR
Que up CCR "Fortunate son"
13 posted on 06/01/2010 3:38:52 PM PDT by ASOC (Things are not always as they appear, ask the dog chasing the car)
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To: skeptoid

I just love that photo. What idiot would stare down the barrel of a weapon. Even one unloaded as there is no magazine in it. Thus, he was not in a combat situation. He was just making pretty so he could get his political ticket punched and say he was a Vietnam veteran, military veteran. After his 5 months, daddy got his butt out of Nam.


14 posted on 06/01/2010 3:43:22 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (Read the Bible. It tells you clearly about these times. These days are all covered, clearly, there)
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To: DBCJR

I give credit to all who served. I give respect to all that were in a combat theater. Gore was told to go and he went. A nation can not ask more than that.

Did he have the same chance as dieing as a grunt ... no. But that was not his job either.

Lets not disparage those who did go and reserve our our comments to those that claim to go but did not and those that claim awards they did not earn.


15 posted on 06/01/2010 3:44:16 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: DBCJR

Gore also had a minder the entire time he was in Viet Nam.


16 posted on 06/01/2010 3:44:59 PM PDT by Carley (For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: DBCJR
He was an elite "Remington Raider".


17 posted on 06/01/2010 3:50:03 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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To: DBCJR
How could Gore have enlisted in August '69 and been discharged in May '71? The minimum enlistment obligation for active duty then was 3 years. An early out should have got him out in May '72, not '71, a year early.

As usual, something in Goreville stinks.

18 posted on 06/01/2010 3:52:59 PM PDT by Zman516 (muslims, marxists, communists ---> satan's useful idiot corps)
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To: Zman516
The minimum enlistment obligation for active duty then was 3 years.
I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1966 with the option for 2, 3 or 4 years. I don't know about Army enlistees, but assume they had the same choices.
My guess is the two year option stayed around as long as there was a draft.
19 posted on 06/01/2010 3:59:08 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Zman516
According to Wikipedia, Gore signed up for the National Guard, so his hitch was shorter.

The attack article is ill-conceived.

If Vietnam were like WWII and "everybody" went, Gore's cushy assignment would be fair game for criticism.

But given that so few of Gore's Harvard classmates went to Vietnam at all, and so many politicians of his generation had no military experience at all, Gore gets a pass on this.

Given the circumstances of the time, there's no reason why he shouldn't.

20 posted on 06/01/2010 4:01:56 PM PDT by x
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To: DBCJR
Did Al Gore serve in Vietnam? Yes, he did.

Ok, but for which side?

21 posted on 06/01/2010 4:05:22 PM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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To: skeptoid

no bullets


22 posted on 06/01/2010 4:08:07 PM PDT by bushpilot1
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To: Zman516

Don’t ask, don’t tell.


23 posted on 06/01/2010 4:18:02 PM PDT by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: taxcontrol

Gore’s father was a Senator. McCain’s father was an Admiral, and that could have gotten him released from a tortuous VC prison, except for his sense of honor. I am no fan of McCain but he, at least, had honor. Gore, sir, had no honor. His behavior was not as despicable as Kerry’s, but without honor all the same.

He had a cushy job, in a secure base, with a bodyguard, and got out earlier than early release.


24 posted on 06/01/2010 4:23:58 PM PDT by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: fhayek

Gore’s father was a Senator. McCain’s father was an Admiral, and that could have gotten him released from a tortuous VC prison, except for his sense of honor. I am no fan of McCain but he, at least, had honor. Gore, sir, had no honor. His behavior was not as despicable as Kerry’s, but without honor all the same.

He had a cushy job, in a secure base, with a bodyguard, and got out earlier than early release.


25 posted on 06/01/2010 4:26:33 PM PDT by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: taxcontrol

Gore’s father was a Senator. McCain’s father was an Admiral, and that could have gotten him released from a tortuous VC prison, except for his sense of honor. I am no fan of McCain but he, at least, had honor. Gore, sir, had no honor. His behavior was not as despicable as Kerry’s, but without honor all the same.

He had a cushy job, in a secure base, with a bodyguard, and got out earlier than early release.


26 posted on 06/01/2010 4:27:32 PM PDT by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Al Gork, the boy genius, also flunked out of both divinity school and law school.....


27 posted on 06/01/2010 4:27:36 PM PDT by Mac from Cleveland ("See what you made me do?" Major Malik Hasan)
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To: Retired Greyhound
i bet if you took all the times he said "When I was in Vietnam" and added them together, it would add up to more time than he actually spent there...
28 posted on 06/01/2010 4:34:17 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Zman516

They were dumping manpower during that time. They were no use to anyone.


29 posted on 06/01/2010 4:36:34 PM PDT by Domangart
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To: DBCJR

WHO the Frock cares!!!


30 posted on 06/01/2010 5:03:01 PM PDT by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: fhayek
Gore went. He may have had a short stay, and he may not have been a grunt, but he went. He deserves credit for that.

No credit if he was sent to a safe posting with the sole aim of creating a Resume for use in political campaigning and if he was shielded from all danger.

31 posted on 06/01/2010 5:38:51 PM PDT by JimWayne
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To: Retired Greyhound

John who? Never heard of him. Should I read up on him?


32 posted on 06/01/2010 6:26:52 PM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: DBCJR

I served 6 years 9 month and 3 days in the US Army. 4 years of that was with the Infantry in Germany. The last 3+ years was stateside at an easy desk job.

Was my service without honor?

I think there was honor in my service. My nation called and I went and I did my job. Just as there were guys who did 2 years in an “easy” stateside job and never went over seas when I was in. But they answered the call. They raised there hand and they went.

I have never heard Gore complain about his service. I have never heard him disparage those who serve. Till then, I will grant him the honors of answering this nation’s call.

I may not agree with his environmental views or his politics. But he served and unless he was discharged under something other than an “honorable discharge”, I will give him the respect for that service. Especially when so many others dodged the draft and did not go and did not answer the call.

Not everyone has the internal fortitude to be an infantry man. Not everyone has the endurance to be a hero during their captivity. Not everyone can be brave in the face of the enemy. But everyone can serve, even in some small way; in their own way and this is what Gore did.

I wish more of this nation’s citizens would have the courage to do that much today.


33 posted on 06/01/2010 7:10:05 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: taxcontrol
I too served-In the Army from 1979 to 1983, with most of that time in Germany as a tanker (tread-head)...My service was unremarkable, in that I, along with my buddies chased all the skirt and drank all the beer we could. It was the only time in American history that no shots were fired. So I will never be a combat veteran. I cant even join the VFW--for veteran's benefits, its back of the line for me cause no shots were fired during those four short years.

I served, Al Gore served, and hundreds of thousands of others served, some were REMF's, some saw combat, others painted rocks stateside and others like me drank beer and hunted for GI Gold on our 50 cals overseas.

34 posted on 06/02/2010 2:00:25 AM PDT by abigkahuna (Step on up folks and see the "Strange Thing" only a thin dollar, babies free)
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