Sunday, June 3, 2007


Isn't it amazing that there can be heroes in wars that we have never heard of before. Joshua Chamberlain would be one, but there are so many others. The movie "Gettysburg" follows up with Chamberlain's exploits. He won the Medal of Honor for his actions in the "Devil's Den" at "Little Round Top" at Gettysburg. He became a war hero for his actions that saved the left flank of the Union Army on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. But it is a real life fact that "war heroes" oftentimes are not heroes but people who are pushed to the brink and make a final life and death decision.

During this period in history, most politicians were almost required to have served in war. If you check with our history of presidents this is even more prevalent:

Washington: We know his history.

Adams, Jefferson, Madison: Patriots who put their lives on the line.

Monroe: Revolutionary War

John Q. Adams: Son of a President

Andrew Jackson: Revolutionary War as a child, War of 1812

We had many more including:

Zachary Taylor: Mexican War

Abraham Lincoln: Black Hawk War

U.S. Grant: Mexican War, Civil War

Rutherford B. Hayes: Civil War

James A. Garfield: Civil War

William McKinley: Civil War

Theodore Roosvelt: Spanish-American War

Harry S Truman: First World War (On his lapel you will see the lapel pin of the victory medal for the First World War. He wore it everyday.)

Dwight Eisenhower: Mexican Expedition, Second World War

John F. Kennedy: Second World War

Lyndon B. Johnson: Second World War

Richard M. Nixon: Second World War

Gerald R. Ford: Second World War

Ronald Reagan: Second World War

George H.W. Bush: Second World War

That is not to say, however, that those who did not serve are in some way deficient. They have become the Commander-in-Chief and that is in keeping with the U.S. Constitution. It is just interesting that it seems military service is such a catapult to the presidency.

The presidency is a very interesting office and the people who have occupied it are interesting as a result. I know I am a geek for being able to write a post like this, but I love thinking about things like this.


Texas Truth said...

Nice post. I agree. I have always felt that military service is a good prerequisite to be President. It is not necessary, but it does give the President a certain respect for the troops when they are sent to serve.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

So, which of the many candidates (on either side) do you think has a chance of being catapulted into the presidency as a result of military service?

Law and Order Teacher said...

The current crop of candidates is a little short on military experience. If being a veteran was the only prerequisite necessary to be president, the race would be over. If that were the case Clinton would have never beaten George Bush in 92. But as I said, that's not a given. It's interesting to look at the large number of presidents who did have that experience.

BB-Idaho said...

Ronald Reagan, a war hero? Geroge McGovern piloted a B-24 on 35 missions over occupied Europe..some folks just talk the talk.