In deciding what this country owes its veterans, it is important to keep in mind that for the last 50 years, the burden of defending this nation has not been shared equitably among the American population, as it was in World War II.
Beginning in the mid-1960s—when this nation still had a selective service system, or draft—and as the American involvement in the bloody war in Vietnam increased, many of the upper-class were able to use a variety of technically legal measures to avoid going to Vietnam. (For example, only one of the past five Americans who served as president and vice president and were of draft age during the war in Vietnam actually served: Vice President Al Gore. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, and Vice Presidents Richard Cheney and Joe Biden all had other priorities.)This article was originally published in InsideSources.