Gun Enthusiast Ted Nugent Wasn't Anxious To Bear Arms Against Those Pesky Vietcong
With the Vietnam War raging, young Ted Nugent was not so anxious to bear arms in defense of his country.
The 64-year-old musician, now a vocal gun advocate and member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, avoided toting around an M14 thanks to a series of military deferments that allowed him to dodge the draft, according to Selective Service System records.
Theodore Anthony Nugent first received a high school 1-S deferment in February 1967, when he was 18. After briefly being reclassified as available for service, Nugent got a 2-S college deferment when he enrolled in Oakland Community College in Michigan.
In August 1969, Nugent took his draft physical and was rejected for service. He was classified as 1-Y, indicating that he was qualified for service only in time of a national emergency. The 1-Y classification was usually issued to candidates saddled with significant medical or mental issues.
In interviews, Nugent has provided varying accounts of how he avoided a seat on a troop transport to Southeast Asia. In a 1977 High Times interview, he claimed to have stopped bathing a month before his draft physical, adding that he showed up for the exam with pants “crusted” with urine and feces. “I was a walking, talking hunk of human poop,” recalled Nugent.
Five weeks after the exam, Nugent received his 1-Y deferment on October 7, 1969. Nugent’s 1-Y deferment remained in effect until 1972, when the classification was abolished. He was then reclassified as 4-F, which covered registrants not qualified for military service.
In his High Times interview, Nugent recalled his glee at evading the chance to defend his country (though he mixed up the 1-Y and 4-F deferments). “And in the mail I got this big juicy 4-F,” he said. “They’d call dead people before they’d call my ass.”
Nugent is expected to attend this evening’s State of the Union address as a guest of Steve Stockman, the Texas Republican who recently threatened to file articles of impeachment if President Barack Obama sought to use executive orders to curb gun rights.