Obama Considered Joining Military?

Obama disclosed in an exclusive interview on ABC News’ ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ that he had once considered serving in the military.

“You know, I actually did,” Obama said.  “I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school.  And I was growing up in Hawaii.  And I have friends whose parents were in the military.  There are a lot of Army, military bases there.

“And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option.  But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979.  The Vietnam War had come to an end.  We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point.  And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Now you can’t be sure how much of this was true. 

It’s odd that he never mentioned this consideration of joining the military in either of his books.  That would have been an important decision to have considered while he contemplated his future.

He stated, in the interview, that he had to sign up for selective service when he graduated from high school, but he graduated in 1979.  The problem with the claim is that the United States abandoned the draft in 1973 under Richard Nixon and ended the Selective Service registration requirement in 1975 under President Ford.  The Selective Service registration requirement was not re-instated until 1980 under Jimmy Carter.  So, he didn’t have to register in 1979. 

Finally, did the future Senator decide not to join the military because there was no combat being waged? 

I understand that Senator Obama wants to sound pro-military to certain groups because he thinks he sounds un-patriotic, to some, to be against the Iraq war while not having served himself, while John McCain’s military record is well known.  I’m not saying it isn’t, but the whole statement just doesn’t ring true.


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