So I got into a brief exchange on Twitter the other day About John Wayne being a draft dodger in WWII. These claims go back for decades, leveled by biographers, some historians, and some who hate John Wayne for the image he enjoys as the expression of American manhood: Stoic, fair-minded, moral, and forthright. In his films, he tended to portray strong characters that protected the weak and meek often at the cost of great personal sacrifice.

To say that John Wayne was patriotic is an understatement.  John Wayne for many Americans is patriotism itself. This is not to say that John Wayne always lived up to the high ideals that his characters embrace, he was a bit of a philanderer and was married three times.  That is the problem with high ideals, they tend to be very hard to live up to. Much easier I suppose to embrace low ideals, no ever gets accused of failing to live up to low expectations, do they?

The draft dodging claims are offered under several variations:

John Wayne was a phony who didn’t want to fight in WWII, basically an accusation of cowardice.