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Former Dannelly worker: Bush not AWOL [another eyewitness steps forward]
THE DECATUR DAILY ^ | 2.16.04 | Eric Fleischauer

Posted on 02/16/2004 4:19:13 PM PST by ambrose

Former Dannelly worker: Bush not AWOL

By Eric Fleischauer

DAILY Staff Writer

eric@decaturdaily.com · 340-2435

Retired Master Sgt. James Copeland does not care so much whether people think President Bush went absent without leave in 1972, but one thing he hears bothers him plenty.

"Maybe the Bush family was well known in Texas, but we didn't know who he was here. He was just another guy in a flight jacket," Copeland said Sunday.

Copeland, who lives in Hartselle, retired from the Air Force on Jan. 31, 1980. He was the disbursement accounting supervisor, a full-time position, for Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Montgomery from Oct. 28, 1971, to Oct. 27, 1975. His office was less than 100 yards from the hangar where Bush performed drills.

Rumors say Bush went AWOL while assisting Winton "Red" Blount in an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate focus on 1972 and 1973.

Copeland, 65, remembers meeting Bush on two occasions. He does not remember the precise dates. On one occasion, Copeland said, Bush and Lt. Col. John "Bill" Calhoun came to Copeland's office with a question about Bush's pay. Copeland is not sure, but he believes the question had to do with where to mail Bush's checks.

Bush was never a member of the Alabama National Guard, he just did his drills here. For that reason, Copeland thinks he referred the pay question to the paymaster for the Texas National Guard.

The other time Copeland remembers meeting Bush was at the base canteen. Bush was there drinking coffee or a soft drink, Copeland said.

Copeland stressed that Calhoun's account of Bush's service in Montgomery would be accurate because Calhoun was in a position to work with Bush during every drill. Calhoun told The Associated Press last week that he saw Bush every drill time, which was one weekend each month.

Not only was Calhoun in a position to know of Bush's service, Copeland said, but Calhoun "was an ethical and honest officer."

No easy treatment

The suggestion that he or anyone else gave Bush a break because of the family legacy bothers Copeland.

"You hear people saying that everybody (at Dannelly) knew the Bushes. Well, that's just a lie," Copeland said. "He was just another pilot. No one paid any more attention to him than to anyone else. There was no hoopla."

Copeland said Bush trained on an F-106 fighter plane in Texas, so he was not qualified to fly the planes at Dannelly. Dannelly had F-84 Thunderjets and, later, F-4 Phantoms.

The issue of whether Bush skipped his Air National Guard duties is not a new one.

Some Democrats have long questioned whether Bush continued his drills while absent from Texas for Blount's campaign.

Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Friday that the White House is making no effort to locate people who could document Bush's service.

Joe Holcombe, 71, of Joppa worked with Bush on the Blount campaign. He told THE DAILY last week that he remembers Bush missing at least one campaign meeting because of his National Guard drills.

While Copeland said he thinks claims that Bush was AWOL are baseless, he said one thing puzzles him.

"All Bush would have to do to get proof of his Alabama service is pick up the phone and contact military records," he said. "It seems a little odd that he hasn't done that."

Copeland also is puzzled by dental records that Bush produced as evidence of his duties at Dannelly.

"We had no dentist at Dannelly Field," Copeland said. "The only dentists were at Maxwell (Air Force Base)."


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: awol; bush; jamescopeland; militaryrecord; nationalguard; wguardwitness
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1 posted on 02/16/2004 4:19:14 PM PST by ambrose
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To: ambrose
At that time, GHWB was just a former Representative from Houston, who had lost a race for the Senate and no one but Houston Republicans (there weren't many then) knew who any of them were.

So9

2 posted on 02/16/2004 4:25:38 PM PST by Servant of the 9 (Goldwater Republican)
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To: ambrose
That makes FOUR eyewitnesses.

(As I've mentioned, there are exactly ZERO eyewitnesses to the event for which Kerry got a Silver Star.)
3 posted on 02/16/2004 4:30:45 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Four?

I am aware of LeFevers, Calhoun, and now Copeland. Who is the 4th?
4 posted on 02/16/2004 4:32:06 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: ambrose
Hey McAuliffe! Are you going to retract your AWOL accusation?
5 posted on 02/16/2004 4:36:44 PM PST by demlosers (When W wins this November, Iím going to gloat and ridicule the bias media for a very long time.)
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To: ambrose
John Anderson, a doctor who recalls examining Lt. Bush.
6 posted on 02/16/2004 4:38:27 PM PST by SolidSupplySide
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To: demlosers
Don't hold your breath!
7 posted on 02/16/2004 4:39:45 PM PST by hoosiermama (Ask Kerry to list the major pieces of enacted legislation he has authored in his career.)
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To: ambrose
The last two quoted questions in the article do need to be addressed. Or have they already been?
8 posted on 02/16/2004 4:42:26 PM PST by RobRoy (uNLESS)
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To: Hon; ambrose; PhiKapMom; cyncooper
lookee here:

HMMMMM [Rich Lowry]
John Kerry last night disavowed any interest in attacking President Bush over his National Guard record: “I have suggested to some people who are my advocates who've gone that line of attack, it's not one that I plan to do, it's not one I have. I don't plan to do that and I've asked them not to,” he said. “But the president has to speak for his own military record. And those of you in the news media, obviously, have asked questions about it, and that's where I'll let it sit.”

But according to the Washington Post yesterday, Kerry aides were furious at Terry McAuliffe for raising the Guard issue – because he was doing it too soon for their purposes and in what they thought was a clumsy way:

"When Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe went on television two weeks ago to accuse President Bush as a young man of being 'AWOL' in his National Guard duty, party officials quickly heard complaints from the staff of presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.).

Kerry aides were not upset about McAuliffe's negative tone, Democratic sources said. Instead, they were worried that the party chairman had raised the charge too early -- preventing Kerry from making more effective use of a potent issue later this year if he is the Democratic nominee…

Impugning Bush's patriotism with loaded terms such as 'AWOL' may muddy the real issue, Lockhart said. 'I didn't agree with the chairman of my party on that,' he said.

A Kerry aide said campaign advisers did not agree either, and called the DNC after McAuliffe's appearance on ABC's 'This Week.' But several Democratic sources said those calls were not about the substance of the charge, but about tactical factors. These officials said Kerry's team thought it better to have a veteran make any allegations about Bush's service, and they preferred to keep in reserve the contrast between Kerry's Vietnam combat duty and Bush's alleged absenteeism until Kerry had the Democratic nomination assured.

http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/corner.asp
9 posted on 02/16/2004 4:42:35 PM PST by EllaMinnow
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To: ambrose
Years ago, my wife once performed one of her monthly Navy Reserve drills in Miami instead of in San Diego because we were visiting my realtives there at the time. I am sure that nobody from the C.O. of the Miami unit to the lowest E-1 would remember her today.

If my wife ever runs for President as a Republican, the news media will label her as having been AWOL or being a deserter.

If my wife ever runs for President as a Democrat, the news media will gush over her and hail her as a military heroine.

10 posted on 02/16/2004 4:49:01 PM PST by Polybius
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To: ambrose
I just finished watching as much as I could stand of HARDBALL. Mathews is doing his whole show on VietNam. Well, that's what he said...actually he's doing a show on the cowardice of George Bush for going in the National Guard to avoid Viet Nam.

Chris Mathews is one sick dude!

11 posted on 02/16/2004 4:49:19 PM PST by YaYa123 (@Thank Goodness No One Watches.com)
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To: redlipstick
Thanks to Rich Lowry who has been extremely strong of late. For several months now.

The media makes me sick with their "Kerry's stayed above the fray" attitude regarding the National Guard issue. Everything Kerry has said has kept it alive, just as when Clark declined to denounce Moore's use of the term "deserter". Both Clark and Kerry are former military men who well know the meaning of the terms "AWOL" and "deserter", yet they dare to allow the term to be used against the President of the United States without a murmur of protest.

I despise Kerry and his cowardly ways. I have never heard him say one gracious thing about President Bush.
12 posted on 02/16/2004 4:51:36 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: ambrose
So we're up to six eye witnesses to GWB serving in Alabama:

Calhoun
the girlfriend
LaFever
the doctor
Holcombe
Copeland
13 posted on 02/16/2004 4:52:36 PM PST by alnick
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To: ambrose
MEDIA to BUSH...NOT GOOD ENOUGH...We want more.......Proof.

14 posted on 02/16/2004 4:52:37 PM PST by KQQL (@)
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To: YaYa123
Ddi Mathews stand up and brand himself a yellow coward for never having worn a uniform?
15 posted on 02/16/2004 4:53:14 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: redlipstick
And just now Chris Matthews asks Doug Brinkley to compare the Kerry/Bush military records and Matthews pretends George Bush's Guard experience is exemplified by his Alabama stint.

Chris refuses to acknowledge the skill and yes, bravery, that George W. Bush displayed flying a fighter jet. Instead Matthews acts like "eating a sandwich" and reading magazines was the whole of Bush's Guard career.

16 posted on 02/16/2004 4:54:05 PM PST by cyncooper
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: jwalsh07
Chris would say "that's different" as he's not sending troops off to war.

That's what he and the other media are crafting the argument around.
18 posted on 02/16/2004 4:56:34 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: BigSimonia
Kerry disappeared behind the hootch and came back with the rocket launcher over his head, saying he had dispatched the VC.

You can look it up.
19 posted on 02/16/2004 4:59:01 PM PST by Hon
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To: cyncooper
I know but I'm not buying the garbage he's selling. Of course he wasn't selling that garbage in '92 and '96 becuase his intellectual honesty list is about as long as his DD214.
20 posted on 02/16/2004 4:59:10 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07
Aha! Chris makes my point AND cites his wife, Kathleen, who I think really is behind the screwy off base turns Matthews takes so often.

Matthews says that Kathleen thinks a military man who has gone to war is less reluctant to send off troops as opposed to "these neocons" who are in a strategy room mapping out plans and don't have a concept of battle.

How breathtaking. But exactly as I've had that couple pegged.

BTW, of course Kathleen was a huge Clinton supporter and I'm sure she'd have some convoluted reason why his total lack of military experience, yet he sent troops off here and there, was just fine.
21 posted on 02/16/2004 5:01:44 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: jwalsh07
I know but I'm not buying the garbage he's selling.

That's because YOU have a brain and you know how to use it.

:)

22 posted on 02/16/2004 5:02:46 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: RobRoy
The last two quoted questions in the article do need to be addressed. Or have they already been?

Regarding the military records: Isn't that what the release of the 400 pages was about?

Regarding the dentist: Seems simple. Either Copeland's memory is fuzzy or Dubya went to the dentist at Maxwell AFB. Does the dental record reflect the location of the exam?

23 posted on 02/16/2004 5:03:05 PM PST by alnick
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To: RobRoy
The last two quoted questions in the article do need to be addressed. Or have they already been?

They have been. The records were obtained and released. Moreover the dental records (http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/gwbush/gwb10673dent.jpg) show exactly where the examination took place.

24 posted on 02/16/2004 5:03:11 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: Hon
(As I've mentioned, there are exactly ZERO eyewitnesses to the event for which Kerry got a Silver Star.)

Hey Hon .. I was just watching Chris Mathews and Brinkley mentioned he interview not only the guys that were on the boat with Kerry .. but also other men that knew Kerry at that time

He said the men that shared a boat with Kerry spoke highly of him

But the other men who knew him then .. did not

Does anyone know who these men were??

25 posted on 02/16/2004 5:05:03 PM PST by Mo1 (" Do you want a president who injects poison into his skull for vanity?")
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To: ambrose
Copeland said Bush trained on an F-106 fighter plane in Texas, so he was not qualified to fly the planes at Dannelly.

Bush Flew the F-102 which looks nearly identical to the F-106, both being the only (as far as I know) Delta wing aircraft in our inventory at that time.

My father worked on the F-106 and I probably have more time in the cockpit (on the ground of course) of one than Bush but only a trained eye would be able to spot the difference without a sign haning on it.

26 posted on 02/16/2004 5:05:18 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig ( I went to the gun show today and saw an Sharpton for President sticker on a truck. Seriously dude.)
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To: cyncooper
These idiots seem to be attempting to frame this race as a rerun of the election of 1864, with John Kerry now playing the role of General George McClellan, and Bush as Abe Lincoln.

Sames arguments... And I bet we'll see the same results as well.

27 posted on 02/16/2004 5:06:48 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: Mo1
That is understandable. The bond they have is non-negotiable.
28 posted on 02/16/2004 5:07:20 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: alnick

29 posted on 02/16/2004 5:07:21 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: ambrose; redlipstick
I want redlipstick to see your post #27. She opined the same thing the other day.

Let's hope so.

30 posted on 02/16/2004 5:08:26 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: ambrose
I hope so, but the nation is in a far greater state of decay than it was then.
31 posted on 02/16/2004 5:09:48 PM PST by Miles Vorkosigan
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To: nutmeg
read later bump
32 posted on 02/16/2004 5:10:24 PM PST by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John F'in Kerry!)
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To: ambrose
Thanks. That settles that.
33 posted on 02/16/2004 5:10:40 PM PST by alnick
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To: alnick
Could it be the Maxwell dentist also did exams at Dannelly.
34 posted on 02/16/2004 5:10:42 PM PST by drlevy88
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To: ambrose; cyncooper
ambrose, have you been reading my freepmail? LoL.

I wrote that exact same thing to cyn last week, that this was turning into a repeat of the 1864 election.

Wasn't "Don't change horses in the middle of the stream" one of Lincoln's campaign slogans?
35 posted on 02/16/2004 5:12:59 PM PST by EllaMinnow
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To: cyncooper; redlipstick
Candidate 1 is Abraham Lincoln as many people saw him in the summer of 1864. More radical members of his own party thought that he was not prosecuting the war vigorously enough. The summer of 1864 was one of the darkest seasons of Lincoln's presidency. During a three-month span that summer, Union casualties totaled 110,000, double the number during any comparable period of the war. Lincoln was heavily criticized by newspaper editors, members of Congress, and others for his insistence that the Confederacy must end slavery as a condition of peace. Some of his other policies were equally unpopular. In August, Lincoln gloomily predicted to a friend that he was "going to be beaten, and unless some great change takes place, badly beaten."

Lincoln's opponent in the 1864 presidential race was Peace Democrat George McClellan. The Democratic Party platform, adopted at the party's convention at the end of August, demanded an immediate end to the war. Southerners rejoiced. The Charleston Mercury exulted that a Democratic victory in November-just two months away at that point-"must lead to peace and our independence. . . if. . . we hold our own and prevent military success by our foes."

Southern hopes for McClellan's election were quickly dashed. On September 2, just a few days after the Democratic convention, Union troops captured Atlanta. The political picture changed overnight. Headlines blazoned the news across the North. Dissidents within the Republican party abandoned plans to nominate an alternate Republican candidate and threw their political clout into the effort to defeat McClellan. When the election was held only two month later, Lincoln won with 212 electoral votes, beating McClellan by more than 500,000 popular votes. His support was especially strong among Union soldiers.

36 posted on 02/16/2004 5:18:34 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: ambrose
The question for the White House now, would seem to be-when to hold the reunion for President Bush's ANG unit, including those from the Alabama air base. I am sure the pilots from the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron will be a lot more strack than the love beaded, rag tag bunch of peaceniks that Kerry attracts. I look forward to the photo ops.
37 posted on 02/16/2004 5:18:49 PM PST by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: redlipstick
Nope, but I've been seing this as replay of 1864 for a while now. The parallels would have been even more striking if Wes Clark had gotten the nomination...
38 posted on 02/16/2004 5:20:22 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: drlevy88
Could it be the Maxwell dentist also did exams at Dannelly.

You mean like the Dental Surgeon from Windsor, Ontario that came into my smaller town (Chatham) once a week? Sure. Just spreading out resources.

39 posted on 02/16/2004 5:20:26 PM PST by mitchbert (Facts are Stubborn Things)
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To: drlevy88
This guy who said they had no dentist at his base was the Disbursing officer (he did the pay records) and he may be relying on the fact that he never paid any dentist.

That doesn't mean a dentist stationed at another base wasn't detailed to do exams at the paymaster's base some weekend or more likely Bush ran over to the nearest base with a dentist to get his tooth looked at.
40 posted on 02/16/2004 5:34:34 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig ( I went to the gun show today and saw an Sharpton for President sticker on a truck. Seriously dude.)
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To: ambrose
Former Dannelly worker: Bush not AWOL [another eyewitness steps forward]

The Shot Across the Bow

It's real hard to get excited about articles such as this. It's like people stepping forward to say "GWB does not beat his wife". The problem is that the entire manufactured "crisis" was was designed by the DNC. The only good news for the Bush team is that election day is still 8 months away. There is still time to learn from their own weak response to this.

We have seen Bush on the total defensive, releasing documents when he should have just said "judge me as Commander-in-Chief" and refused to say another word. The White House failed miserably by accepting this as a legitimate story to begin with, instead of ridiculing it out of hand, chastizing the press for mentioning it, and deflecting the press onto Kerry's own outrageous behavior as an anti-war leader. It was bizarre to see the White House scrambling to answer every inane attack, while never mentioning how Bill Clinton's blatant draft-dodging was NOT an issue in 1996.

So I fail to rejoice in articles such as this. It is a depressing reminder that the campaign so far has been entirely on Kerry's terms. Bush's team can learn from this, or continue running a defensive campaign like those of Jimmy Carter, Mike Dukakis and George H.W. Bush--with similar results.

--
John Bruder, Big Sky Group (GOP Consultants)

41 posted on 02/16/2004 5:36:10 PM PST by montag813
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To: ambrose
At the risk of being redundant--the media didn't give a rat's rear end about Bill Clinton's lack of service. He wasn't in the Guard or the Reserves. He was in the Draft Dodger Corps, and nobody cared. As for Clinton/s medical records--we're still waiting! Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to explain it.
42 posted on 02/16/2004 5:37:57 PM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: ambrose
Hmmmmmm.....looks like he had his wisdom teeth pulled, but I wonder what happened to molar #3? Knocked out playing rugby??
43 posted on 02/16/2004 5:42:15 PM PST by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: BigSimonia
Maybe you better check facts before talking about Kerry have eye witnesses!
44 posted on 02/16/2004 5:56:53 PM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04 -- Losing is not an Option!)
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To: drlevy88
The Dental and Medical Corps of the Air Force have done exams on other small bases for years. Most dental corps members are stationed only on the larger bases so it would make perfect sense for a dentist from Maxwell to go to a smaller base to do exams.
45 posted on 02/16/2004 5:59:34 PM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04 -- Losing is not an Option!)
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To: YaYa123
I also watched part of Chrissy's show. Had to change channels before I threw something at my new TV set. The B*lls of this guy to question the Present's gaurd service, who by the way flew F-102 Fighter aircraft, and that POS Matthews joined the Peace Corps to evade Vietnam. Some comparison huh?
46 posted on 02/16/2004 6:17:53 PM PST by patsyde (Pat De)
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To: ambrose
Was it the ret. Lt. who served with Bush in TX ..??
47 posted on 02/16/2004 6:23:00 PM PST by CyberAnt (The 2004 Election is for the SOUL of AMERICA)
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To: ambrose
There was an old girlfriend as well
48 posted on 02/16/2004 6:28:05 PM PST by Kath (Luvya Dubya)
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To: ambrose
"Bush got into Harvard grad school because his father was famous!"

"Bush got into the Air National Guard because his father was famous!"

"Bush got out of the Air National Guard because his father was famous!"

But no one asks the question:""Way back then. exactly what was his father famous for?"

49 posted on 02/16/2004 6:52:48 PM PST by cookcounty (John Kerry's done more to besmirch the reputation of VN vets than any other living American.)
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To: montag813
The President hasn't started his re-election campaign yet and why should he?! Kerry is still not the nominee. BTW, the President has a full plate right now.He and his advisors know full well when it's time for them to go on the offensive - more so than anybody on this board.Why waste precious resources until you know who the candidate will be?
50 posted on 02/16/2004 7:16:17 PM PST by Lady In Blue (Bush,Cheney,Rumsfeld,Rice-The A Team in '04)
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