The media should take a step back and remind us what Bush and Cheney were up to in 1969.
And the larger story here is clear: John Kerry volunteered for the Navy, volunteered to go to Vietnam, and then, when he was sitting around Cam Ranh Bay bored with nothing to do, requested the most dangerous duty a Naval officer could be given. He saved a man's life. He risked his own every time he went up into the Mekong Delta. He did more than his country asked. In fact he didn't even wait for his country to ask.
George W. Bush spent those same years in a state of dissolution at Yale, and would go on, as we know, to plot how to get out of going to Southeast Asia. On that subject, here's a choice quote. "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment," Bush told the Dallas Morning News in 1990. "Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."
Dick Cheney is another who, on paper at least, supported the war. But we know Cheney's story: A series of deferments going back to 1963, when he was a student at Casper College in Wyoming. As Tim Noah reported in Slate, Cheney went on to marry -- as fate would have it, right after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, when it was clear that young single men would be called up in larger numbers than before. And then he went on to have a child, Elizabeth, born precisely nine months and two days after the Selective Service ended the proscription on the drafting of married but childless men. What a happily timed burst of passion he and Lynn were consumed by! So, while Kerry was plying the Mekong Delta, Cheney was safe and dry stateside, dropping out of Yale because his grades weren't sufficient to maintain the scholarship the school had offered him. Full article.