Was Ted Nugent A Draft Dodger During The Vietnam War?

By | September 21, 2019

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Left: Ted Nugent in 1975. Right: a document showing Ted Nugent's draft history obtained by The Smoking Gun. Sources: (GAB Archive/Redferns; thesmokinggun.com)

It's a fact that rocker Ted Nugent didn't serve in Vietnam -- but was he a draft-dodger? Like many people, Nugent was summoned for the draft but obtained deferments. Years ago, Nugent told an outlandish story about how he avoided serving in Vietnam; in recent years, he's claimed it was a big joke, and that his deferments were all legit.

In the late ‘70s, Nugent told a High Times reporter that he stayed out of the military by eschewing his notoriously healthy lifestyle to make himself so revolting that he grossed out his Army recruiter. Now, the guitarist who touts his love of God, guns, and girls claims that he didn’t dodge the draft and that he was just egging on the High Times reporter, but his military records seem to substantiate his earlier claims, so what’s the truth? Did Ted Nugent dodge the draft by defecating and urinating in his pants? Or did he just luck out?

Ted Nugent Was Too Busy Rocking To Go To War

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Source: (pinterest.com)

A Michigan boy through and through, Nugent was raised in a Detroit-based military family. While his father was a sergeant in the Army, he never felt the draw to serve. Rather than follow in his father’s footsteps, Nugent started playing guitar from a young age and formed The Amboy Dukes in 1964 after moving to Chicago with his family. The band consistently performed for nearly 10 years, all the while the Vietnam War was raging. Nugent says that when he received his draft notice he was having too much fun to go to war. He told High Times

I got my notice to be in the draft. Do you think I was gonna lay down my guitar and go play army? Give me a break! I was busy doin’ it to it. I had a career Jack. If I was walkin’ around, hippying down, getting’ loaded and pickin’ my ass like your common curs, I’d say ‘Hey yeah, go in the army. Beats the poop out of scuffin’ around in the gutters.’ But I wasn’t a gutter dog. I was a hard workin’, motherf*ckin’ rock and roll musician.