As a kid growing up in the Bronx, I was fortunate to have two wonderful parents, a dog that hated me, and an older brother who ignored me.
I was always confused by my Dad who admonished me about smoking, drinking, and fibbing (not exactly lying, but stretching the truth) yet he smoked, drank, and was known to stretch the truth from time to time.
Although I have worked in the entertainment industry for 50 years, I've managed to give up smoking and drinking, and I have limited my truth stretching to my personal life.
I served four years in the Air Force starting when the Korean War was going on big time, and I feebly tried to get out of it and failed. In retrospect, I am not proud of trying to avoid military service at that time, but it was "the thing to do."
While I know that there are differences among Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, I would shout that all three wars made no sense, and we should not send our boys and girls off to be killed or maimed without MUCH, MUCH BETTER REASONS.
As I watched our Vice President Cheney doing the "we honor our fallen troops" speech at Arlington, I could not help but think of the meaning of the word "hypocrite."
The word is defined as: a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, that he or she does not actually possess, a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
That brings me to the record of our sitting Vice President.
He received 5 deferments which allowed him to avoid military service during the war in Vietnam. His first three were student deferments. He married, but when selective service changed the rules in order to draft married men, he started graduate school. Following that, he was granted his fifth exemption because his wife was "with child." When he became 26, he was no longer eligible for the draft.
What a red, white and blue REAL American story.
My father did the best that he could do by telling me not to smoke drink or fib and yet he was certainly no hypocrite.
If I had "arranged" five deferments, I would have been ashamed to do what the Vice President did yesterday. Particularly in that he led the "conspiracy" that plunged our nation into the five years of war in Iraq that apparently will go on indefinitely.
But then again, I would not have sent a single American boy or girl, or man or woman to die in Iraq, Vietnam, or Korea.
I think I should start smoking and drinking again.
Proud to be my Father's son