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 Having posted a little tickler in last week's Digest about Al Gore's 41 days
 in Vietnam," The Federalist Editorial Board was inundated with
inquiries
 from Vietnam vets. Most went something like this:

  "Gore claimed in  his convention speech: 'I enlisted in the Army 
because knew if I didn't go, someone else in the small town of Carthage, 
Tennessee would have to go in  my place.' Since he wasn't KIA or wounded, 
how was it that his Army tour was far shorter than all the rest of us?"

 Our astute veteran readers took the bait!

 Gore's campaign launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign
 this week to tell his "life story." The ads will include
 references to his service" in Vietnam-however brief. Gore spent less
 than five months of a typical twelve-month tour in Vietnam. He spent
 every minute of his "tour" as a "rear-echelon...." (call any
 combat veteran and they can  complete that phrase for you). He
 was classified as a military journalist after telling recruiters he
 was a newspaper trainee" (read "copy boy") for the New York Times
 while a student at Harvard. He was assigned as
 a noncombatant "information specialist" to the Army's 20th
 Engineers Brigade headquarters at Bien Hoa military base near
 Saigon.  Gore's imediate supervisor in Vietnam has confirmed
 that his posting there came with explicit instructions to baby-sit him
 and make sure he was never in any danger. That fact notwithstanding,
 Gore has claimed to the Washington Post that he was "shot at" and
 "spent most of my time in the field."  He later told
 the Baltimore Sun that "[I] pulled my turn on the perimeter at night
 and walked through the elephant grass and I was fired upon." He has
 since backed off these exaggerated claims.

 On May 22,
 1971, not five months into his "tour of duty,"
 Gore was given special dispensation and a one-way ticket home to
 attend divinity school in Nashville. He dropped out of Vanderbilt
 shortly thereafter.

 As for the seven months cut from Gore's  tour of duty in Vietnam, 
we suppose "someone else in the small town of Carthage, Tennessee" had to finish his tour "in his place."