Yet the political conversation goes from partisans fiercely advocating for the need for military service, and then, poof, it's gone.
In 2004, Democrats were saluting Kerry and trashing Bush and Cheney for their lack of combat experience. Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe called Bush "AWOL" during Vietnam -- unbothered by the fact that his former boss, President Bill Clinton, evaded National Guard service.
In 2008, only two Democrats running for president -- former Sen. Mike Gravel and Sen. Chris Dodd -- had any military experience. None of the top three contenders -- Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Edwards -- was a veteran.
In 2009, America is still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. America has a president with no military experience and a vice president with five draft deferrals. But I don't think you'll be hearing the term "chicken hawk." And that's OK with me. It always was a phony issue.