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Vietnam War Draft Dodgers

February 28, 1988

I dodged the draft in 1969 by means of a dubious medical deferment, and I did it for no more complicated reason than that I had other, better things to do with my life. This has never cost me any sleep and has never been secret in the least (not that the subject comes up much anymore). Nor did I ever feel responsible for whoever went in "my" place. I wasn't responsible for the laws and the political situation that victimized us both.

Smith (who was my lawyer in the matter and did an excellent job at an excellent price) said he's disappointed by the outcome of the work he did because, in part, he "thought it would be the start of a movement." It was--but not of the one the left expected. Dealing with the draft was how many in those days came to see government as primarily their enemy. We're only beginning to see the effects of that insight.

PETER REIDY

Pasadena

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