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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has praised the sacrifices made by Americans who serve in the nation's armed forces, but during the Vietnam War he sought deferments and chose missionary rather than military service.
Romney, who's now 65, avoided being drafted after high school by seeking and receiving four deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a Mormon missionary in France.
The U.S. was cutting troop levels by the time Romney became eligible for the draft, and his lottery number was not called.
President Barack Obama did not serve in the military either. He was a child during the Vietnam war and did not enlist when he was older.
A Gallup survey released last week found that veterans prefer Romney over Obama by 58 percent to 34 percent.
Obama won the presidency four years ago while losing veterans by 10 points to Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)