On Sunday, Steve Sailer asked if tribal drummer Nathan Phillips was really a Vietnam Vet, as stated in many MSM stories about his drumming in the face of Catholic schoolboys from Covington Catholic school, or a "Vietnam Era Vet", a term of art used by the Veterans Administration
When was he born? Wasn’t he born in 1955, which means he didn’t turn 18 until 1973, and the U.S. got out of Vietnam in the winter of 1973, when he’d still be at best in boot camp. (On the other hand, lots of guys are said to have joined the military before their 18th birthday.
Granted, the concept of a “Vietnam Era Vet” can be pretty expansive. My cousin was in the military in the late 1960s, but instead of being sent to Vietnam, he served as a typist in a NATO headquarters in Venice, Italy. He commuted to the office each day in a gondola. But he’s still a Vietnam Era Vet.
Mark Steyn noted the same thing, in a post that's mostly about the lame response of Conservatism, Inc:
Almost nothing about this story is as reported. Jay Nordlinger's "old Indian" isn't that old: he was born in 1955, which, not to be ungallant or anything, puts him in slightly-older-brother territory to Jay - who has known some seriously old men, like the recently departed Bernard Lewis, born 1916. Nathan Phillips seems to be some sort of Native American version of Quaker Oats pitchman Wilford Brimley, who's been playing old since Cocoon in 1985, when he was barely fifty yet was cast as a contemporary of Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn, Jack Gilford and other chaps three decades his senior. In fact, Steve Sailer wonders if Nathan Phillips is, in fact, a "Vietnam vet", at least in the quaint and possibly obsolescent sense of having been in the vicinity of Vietnam while wearing a military uniform. All US forces were withdrawn in March 1973, when Mr Phillips would have been either a few weeks past his eighteenth birthday, or still seventeen and in drum school.
The Stolen Valor investigators at ThisAintHell have a post on this called Nathan Phillips – “Vietnam Times” Veteran, by Steve Balm, January 21, 2019. They say it's not clear that he's an actual Vietnam veteran, or if he even said he was. Sometimes "Vietnam Era" Veterans are careful not to actually say "Vietnam Veteran", but just allow people to think they did.
Gateway Pundit has four stories that say he did say it at various times: