Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Just to get it out there so it's not an issue when I run for President somewhere down the road, I admit to being AWOL from the New Jersey National Guard quite frequently during my enlistment from 1993-1999. Of the 5-1/2 years I served, only two of them were counted as "good years," and that was probably more generous than I deserved. It wasn't always hangovers or laziness that kept me away, either. In particular, the drills I missed in 1997-98 were all poetry-related - I was hosting the Open Room and usually wouldn't get home before 4am, making the 7am roll call impossible to make, especially when our unit moved out to Teaneck. I should also point out that most of the time I did attend drills, I wasn't exactly a model soldier, perfecting the art of wandering the armory with papers in hand to look busy. In my defense, it was a big armory and all of that walking was better exercise than most of my fellow soldiers ever took part in.

I'd argue that this experience, or lack thereof, would in no way affect my ability to serve as Commander-in-Chief nor my judgement in deciding when and where to risk the lives of other people's children in wars of questionable purpose. If anything, having successfully completed my service and receiving an honorable discharge despite my lax attitude about actually showing up on a regular basis, I'd argue that it perfectly qualifies me for the job.

PS: That "suspected" DUI charge was reduced to 'careless driving' and I paid my $75 fine, so don't bother digging that one up, either!

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