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The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, but Not AWOL, Either-The Original Story
George Magazine Archives ^ | 10-10-00 | By Peter Keating and Karthik Thyagarajan

Posted on 02/03/2004 2:58:59 AM PST by backhoe


Click here for more information











 

Democratic Senators Sound Off

Like many georgemag.com forum users in recent weeks, Democratic officials have lingering questions for Texas Governor George W. Bush about his period of military service in the Texas Air National Guard. Hear what Senators Bob Kerrey and Daniel Inouye said by teleconference to a rally of veterans, congressmen and military officials in Tennessee on November 2, 2000. Both senators are decorated war veterans who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Senator J. Robert Kerrey
Senator Daniel K. Inouye


The Original Story (Published 10/10/00)

The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, but Not AWOL, Either
By Peter Keating and Karthik Thyagarajan

AUTHORS RESPONSE
This piece has generated intense reaction from readers, including many postings to the Georgemag.com forum. The authors have responded with a detailed explanation of the evidence for the original story.

Read the response now

NEW: Peter Keating offers further response

For more than a year, controversy about George W. Bush's Air National Guard record has bubbled through the press. Interest in the topic has spiked in recent days, as at least two websites have launched stories essentially calling Bush AWOL in 1972 and 1973. For example, in "Finally, the Truth about Bush's Military Record" on TomPaine.com, Marty Heldt writes, "Bush's long absence from the records comes to an end one week after he failed to comply with an order to attend 'Annual Active Duty Training' starting at the end of May 1973... Nothing indicates in the records that he ever made up the time he missed." And in Bush's Military Record Reveals Grounding and Absence for Two Full Years" on Democrats.com, Robert A. Rogers states: "Bush never actually reported in person for the last two years of his service - in direct violation of two separate written orders."

Neither is correct.

It's time to set the record straight. The following analysis, which relies on National Guard documents, extensive interviews with military officials and previously unpublished evidence of Bush's whereabouts in the summer and fall of 1972, is the first full chronology of Bush's military record. Its basic conclusions: Bush may have received favorable treatment to get into the Guard, served irregularly after the spring of 1972 and got an expedited discharge, but he did accumulate the days of service required of him for his ultimate honorable discharge.


At the Republican convention in Philadelphia, George W. Bush declared: "Our military is low on parts, pay and morale. If called on by the commander-in-chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, 'Not ready for duty, sir.'" Bush says he is the candidate who can "rebuild our military and prepare our armed forces for the future." On what direct military experience does he make such claims?

George W. Bush applied to join the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968, less than two weeks before he graduated from Yale University. The country was at war in Vietnam, and at that time, just months after the bloody Tet Offensive, an estimated 100,000 Americans were on waiting lists to join Guard units across the country. Bush was sworn in on the day he applied.

Ben Barnes, former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, stated in September 1999 that in late 1967 or early 1968, he asked a senior official in the Texas Air National Guard to help Bush get into the Guard as a pilot. Barnes said he did so at the behest of Sidney Adger, a Houston businessman and friend of former President George H. W. Bush, then a Texas congressman. Despite Barnes's admission, former President Bush has denied pulling strings for his son, and retired Colonel Walter Staudt, George W. Bush's first commander, insists: "There was no special treatment."

The younger Bush fulfilled two years of active duty and completed pilot training in June 1970. During that time and in the two years that followed, Bush flew the F-102, an interceptor jet equipped with heat-seeking missiles that could shoot down enemy planes. His commanding officers and peers regarded Bush as a competent pilot and enthusiastic Guard member. In March 1970, the Texas Air National Guard issued a press release trumpeting his performance: "Lt. Bush recently became the first Houston pilot to be trained by the 147th [Fighter Group] and to solo in the F-102... Lt. Bush said his father was just as excited and enthusiastic about his solo flight as he was." In Bush's evaluation for the period May 1, 1971 through April 30, 1972, then-Colonel Bobby Hodges, his commanding officer, stated, "I have personally observed his participation, and without exception, his performance has been noteworthy."

In the spring of 1972, however, National Guard records show a sudden dropoff in Bush's military activity. Though trained as a pilot at considerable government expense, Bush stopped flying in April 1972 and never flew for the Guard again.

Around that time, Bush decided to go to work for Winton "Red" Blount, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, in Alabama. Documents from Ellington Air Force Base in Houston state that Bush "cleared this base on 15 May." Shortly afterward, he applied for assignment to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, Ala., a unit that required minimal duty and offered no pay. Although that unit's commander was willing to welcome him, on May 31 higher-ups at the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver rejected Bush's request to serve at the 9921st, because it did not offer duty equivalent to his service in Texas. "[A]n obligated Reservist [in this case, Bush] can be assigned to a specific Ready Reserve position only," noted the disapproval memo, a copy of which was sent to Bush. "Therefore, he is ineligible for assignment to an Air Reserve Squadron."

Despite the military's decision, Bush moved to Alabama. Records obtained by Georegemag.com show that the Blount Senate campaign paid Bush about $900 a month from mid-May through mid-November to do advance work and organize events. Neither Bush's annual evaluation nor the Air National Guard's overall chronological listing of his service contain any evidence that he performed Guard duties during that summer.

On or around his 27th birthday, July 6, 1972, Bush did not take his required annual medical exam at his Texas unit. As a consequence, he was suspended from flying military jets. Bush spokesperson Dan Bartlett told Georgemag.com: "You take that exam because you are flying, and he was not flying. The paperwork uses the phrase 'suspended from flying,' but he had no intention of flying at that time."

Some media reports have speculated that Bush took and failed his physical, or that he was grounded as a result of substance abuse. Bush's vagueness on the subject of his past drug use has only abetted such rumors. Bush's commanding officer in Texas, however, denies the charges. "His flying status was suspended because he didn't take the exam,not because he couldn't pass," says Hodges. Asked whether Bush was ever disciplined for using alcohol or illicit drugs, Hodges replied: "No."

On September 5, Bush wrote to then-Colonel Jerry Killian at his original unit in Texas, requesting permission to serve with the 187th Tactical Reconnaisance Group, another Alabama-based unit. "This duty would be for the months of September, October, and November," wrote Bush.

This time his request was approved: 10 days later, the Alabama Guard ordered Bush to report to then-Lieutenant Colonel William Turnipseed at Dannelly Air Force Base in Montgomery on October 7th and 8th. The memo noted that "Lieutenant Bush will not be able to satisfy his flight requirements with our group," since the 187th did not fly F-102s.

The question of whether Bush ever actually served in Alabama has become an issue in the 2000 campaign-the Air Force Times recently reported that "the GOP is trying to locate people who served with Bush in late 1972 ... to see if they can confirm that Bush briefly served with the Alabama Air National Guard." Bush's records contain no evidence that he reported to Dannelly in October. And in telephone interviews with Georgemag.com, neither Turnipseed, Bush's commanding officer, nor Kenneth Lott, then chief personnel officer of the 187th, remembered Bush serving with their unit. "I don't think he showed up," Turnipseed said.

Bush maintains he did serve in Alabama. "Governor Bush specifically remembers pulling duty in Montgomery and respectfully disagrees with the Colonel," says Bartlett. "There's no question it wasn't memorable, because he wasn't flying." In July, the Decatur Daily reported that two former Blount campaign workers recall Bush serving in the Alabama Air National Guard in the fall of 1972. "I remember he actually came back to Alabama for about a week to 10 days several weeks after the campaign was over to complete his Guard duty in the state," stated Emily Martin, a former Alabama resident who said she dated Bush during the time he spent in that state.

After the 1972 election, which Blount lost, Bush moved back to Houston and subsequently began working at P.U.L.L., a community service center for disadvantaged youths. This period of time has also become a matter of controversy, because even though Bush's original unit had been placed on alert duty in October 1972, his superiors in Texas lost track of his whereabouts. On May 2, 1973, Bush's squadron leader in the 147th, Lieutenant Colonel William Harris, Jr. wrote: "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit" for the past year. Harris incorrectly assumed that Bush had been reporting for duty in Alabama all along. He wrote that Bush "has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama." Base commander Hodges says of Bush's return to Texas: "All I remember is someone saying he came back and made up his days."

Two documents obtained by Georgemag.com indicate that Bush did make up the time he missed during the summer and autumn of 1972. One is an April 23, 1973 order for Bush to report to annual active duty training the following month; the other is an Air National Guard statement of days served by Bush that is torn and undated but contains entries that correspond to the first. Taken together, they appear to establish that Bush reported for duty on nine occasions between November 29, 1972-when he could have been in Alabama-and May 24, 1973. Bush still wasn't flying, but over this span, he did earn nine points of National Guard service from days of active duty and 32 from inactive duty. When added to the 15 so-called "gratuitous" points that every member of the Guard got per year, Bush accumulated 56 points, more than the 50 that he needed by the end of May 1973 to maintain his standing as a Guardsman.

On May 1, Bush was ordered to report for further active duty training, and documents show that he proceeded to cram in another 10 sessions over the next two months. Ultimately, he racked up 19 active duty points of service and 16 inactive duty points by July 30-which, added to his 15 gratuitous points, achieved the requisite total of 50 for the year ending in May 1974.

On October 1, 1973, First Lieutenant George W. Bush received an early honorable discharge so that he could attend Harvard Business School. He was credited with five years, four months and five days of service toward his six-year service obligation.


TALK ABOUT this story in the CAMPAIGN 2000 FORUM.

April: Bush's last reported flying mission.

May 15: Bush clears Ellington AFB.

May 24: Bush applies to 9921st Reserve Squadron, AL.
View documentation

May 27: 9921st approves application, welcomes Bush.
View documentation

May 31: Air Reserve Personnel Center denies application.
View documentation

August 1: Bush flight suspension due to "failure to accomplish medical exam."
View documentation

September 5: Bush applies for 3-month duty at 187th Tac Recon, AL.
View documentation

September 15: 187th approves Bush's application.
View documentation

November-May (1973):
Record of Bush service: 56 points.
View documentation

April 23: Texas ANG orders Bush to attend annual active duty training.
View documentation

April 30: Ellington AFB unable to evaluate Bush.
View documentation

May-July: Record of Bush service: 50 points.
View documentation

October 1: Bush granted early honorable discharge.
View documentation


Chronological listing of Bush's service.
View documentation

Click here for more information


© Copyright 2000 Hachette Filipacchi
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TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: awol; backhoe; bush43; bushrecord; deserter; kerry; militaryrecord
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Here's what I have so far:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1066746/posts
Is President Bush a Deserter? How the military defines the crime.
Slate ^ | Brendan I. Koerner
There are LINKS in this article to follow, so click on the link and take a gander at Bill Hobbs debunking of this crap.
Was Bush "AWOL"?
Bush 'Desertion' Charge Debunked
The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, but Not AWOL, Either
 
 
Debunkers: 
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1064541/posts
Bush 'Desertion' Charge Debunked
NewsMax ^ | 1/24/04 | Limbacher
...in the months before the 2000 presidential election, the New York Times pretty much demolished this Democratic Party urban legend...
Related thread from Oct. 2000.

1 posted on 02/03/2004 2:59:01 AM PST by backhoe
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To: All
In addition to the above, I found the following in our archives:


From this link:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/745140/posts

From the New York Times, November 3, 2000:
On Sept. 5, 1972, Mr. Bush asked his Texas Air National Guard superiors for assignment to the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery "for the months of September, October and November."

Capt. Kenneth K. Lott, chief of the personnel branch of the 187th Tactical Recon Group, told the Texas commanders that training in September had already occurred, but more training was scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 and Nov. 4 and 5. But Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush did not serve on those dates because he was involved in the Senate campaign, but he made up those dates later.

Colonel Turnipseed, who retired as a general, said in an interview that regulations allowed Guard members to miss duty as long as it was made up within the same quarter.

Mr. Bartlett pointed to a document in Mr. Bush's military records that showed credit for four days of duty ending Nov. 29 and for eight days ending Dec. 14, 1972, and, after he moved back to Houston, on dates in January, April and May.

The May dates correlated with orders sent to Mr. Bush at his Houston apartment on April 23, 1973, in which Sgt. Billy B. Lamar told Mr. Bush to report for active duty on May 1-3 and May 8-10.

Another document showed that Mr. Bush served at various times from May 29, 1973, through July 30, 1973, a period of time questioned by The Globe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/03/politics/03GUAR.html






From this link:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/907148/posts

Good response to this nonsense from realclearpolitics.com
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/commentary.html#5_7_03_0726

BUSH'S MILITARY RECORD: I should have nailed Krugman on it yesterday but Andrew Sullivan does the job this morning. I wrote a piece on this subject nearly two years ago, specifically detailing Bob Kerrey's involvement in pushing AWOL accusations against Bush. I suggest you read the entire piece, of course, but here is a brief chronological summary:

May 2000: The Boston Globe prints a story about George W. Bush's "missing year" in the Texas Air National Guard. Bush issues brief statement rebutting the charges.

Late September 2000: TomPaine.com prints column from an Iowa farmer attacking Bush's military record.

Early October 2000: Paul Begala brings up questions about Bush's service record on Meet the Press saying, "He never showed up for an entire year. Bush tells us to our face he’ll restore honor and integrity to that Oval Office when I believe he’s not telling the truth that he never, in fact, reported to the National Guard in Alabama."

October 31, 2000: The Boston Globe prints a reprise of its original accusations under the title "Questions remain on Bush's service as guard pilot." Senator Bob Kerrey calls The Globe and gives an unsolicited interview charging that Bush went "AWOL." The charges make national headlines.

November 3, 2000: The Friday before the election, Kerrey holds press conference with fellow Senator and Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Inouye and calls on Bush to make all of his military records public. Later that day The New York Times prints a review of Bush's military records saying that the claims are "unfounded."

November 5, 2000: Two days before the election Kerrey appears on Meet the Press and is questioned as to whether his attacks on Bush's military record are "way out of bounds." Kerrey replies, "They're not way out of bounds. Certainly, if -- I mean, if I'd gone over the line and implied that he didn't serve honorably, I apologize. He did serve honorably. But I don't think he understands that when you come forward and represent your military service, you've got to represent it right, and he didn't."

The point of my article, written in May 2001, was to highlight Kerrey's hypocrisy in light of his admissions about his service in Vietnam and his willingness to leverage his status as a war hero against Bush for partisan political gain in the 200 election.

But as you can see, questions about Bush's military record - which liberals like Krugman now accept as absolute fact - all stem from a single article printed in The Boston Globe nearly six months before the election. Not coincidentally, these charges were then recycled right before the election by Gore operatives like Begala and prominent Democrats like Senator Kerrey.

Now, I suppose you can believe original The Globe story is accurate and then ignore the fact that not one single news organization followed up and substantiated the charges over the next several months - despite being in the middle of a heated Presidential campaign.

And I suppose you could also believe that the only indisputable fact about the entire affair - that George W. Bush received an honorable discharge from the Texas Air National Guard - was just part of a cover up orchestrated by Poppy and the U.S. military. It's your right to believe this stuff, it's just not supported by any real evidence. - T. Bevan 7:26 am

2 posted on 02/03/2004 3:01:44 AM PST by backhoe (The 1990's? The Decade of Fraud(s)... the 00's? The Decade of Lunatics...)
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To: GailA
OK, here she is...
3 posted on 02/03/2004 3:02:32 AM PST by backhoe (The 1990's? The Decade of Fraud(s)...)
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To: backhoe
I thought we'd dealt with this in 2000 and now its fresh fodder.Thanks for the info.
4 posted on 02/03/2004 3:14:56 AM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: MEG33
Thanks for looking- this alleged "story" is like one of the Undead- it just keeps coming back.

Maybe this will help return it to its grave. 'Rats!

5 posted on 02/03/2004 3:36:40 AM PST by backhoe (--30--)
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To: backhoe
I know where to point the uninformed when it appears again in an article posted,and it surely will.
6 posted on 02/03/2004 3:49:06 AM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: MEG33
JFKerry sure thinks it's his ticket to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Orielly had Barney's sister on last night and she declared that it was an issue and went on to make false accusations about what happened.

JFKerry will attempt to make President Bush look like what he himself is a fake/fraud. The liberal way - accuse, lie, deny, and deceive.

7 posted on 02/03/2004 3:58:53 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: backhoe
Good job, BOOK MARK IT Freepers, we are gonna need it a lot this nasty election season.
8 posted on 02/03/2004 4:15:19 AM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: GailA
BOOK MARK IT Freepers, we are gonna need it a lot this nasty election season.

Yes, it's going to be 2000 again, but worse...

And thanks for the reminder- I forgot to bookmark it!

9 posted on 02/03/2004 4:25:56 AM PST by backhoe (--30--)
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To: backhoe
I want Kerry's real military record. Something doesn't add up. I don't know what yet.
10 posted on 02/03/2004 4:37:47 AM PST by BushCountry (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity! Oh yea, rub her feet.)
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To: BushCountry
Something doesn't add up. I don't know what yet.

I get that feeling, as well. Mayhap I can look into it later.

11 posted on 02/03/2004 4:46:44 AM PST by backhoe (--30--)
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To: backhoe
Didn't he shoot that wounded enemy soldier in the BACK????????????? I mean even in war time that is supposed to be a NO, NO.

My big question and one that needs hammering is WHY DIDN'T HE REPORT the atrocities he supposedly witnessed?

12 posted on 02/03/2004 5:21:36 AM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: backhoe
Bush haters are really digging, these are the same people that gave Clinton a free pass on EVERYTHING!
13 posted on 02/03/2004 5:29:09 AM PST by HankReardon
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To: HankReardon
he quit the Navy early and

On February 28, 1969:

When Kerry's Patrol Craft Fast 94 received a B-40 rocket shot from shore, he hot dogged his craft beaching it in the center of the enemy position. To his surprise, an enemy soldier sprang up from a hole not ten feet from Patrol Craft 94 and fled.

The boat's machine gunner hit and wounded the fleeing Viet Cong as he darted behind a hootch. The twin .50s gunner fired at the Viet Cong. He said he "laid 50 rounds" into the hootch before Kerry leaped from the boat and dashed in to administer a "coup de grace" to the wounded Viet Cong. Kerry returned with the B-40 rocket and launcher. Kerry was given a Silver Star for his actions.

Kerry commanded his first swift boat, No. 44, from December 1968 through January 1969. He received no medals while serving on this craft.

While in command of Swift Boat 44, Kerry and crew operated without prudence in a Free Fire Zone, carelessly firing at targets of opportunity racking up a number of enemy kills and some civilians. His body count included-- a woman, her baby, a 12 year-old boy, an elderly man and several South Vietnamese soldiers.

"It is one of those terrible things, and I'll never forget, ever, the sight of that child," Kerry later said about the dead baby. "But there was nothing that anybody could have done about it. It was the only instance of that happening." Kerry said he was appalled that the Navy's ''free fire zone'' policy in Vietnam put civilians at such high risk.

14 posted on 02/03/2004 5:33:33 AM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: GailA
Looks like hanoi john committed an atrocity, he accused our men of doing.
15 posted on 02/03/2004 5:34:38 AM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: BushCountry
"I want Kerry's real military record. Something doesn't add up. I don't know what yet."

Not a good tactic - attacking Kerry's record when it's so much better than Bush's. The return fire on this will be severe. The spinmeisters and attack dogs for the dims want the comparison - don't be foolish enough to lead them there.
16 posted on 02/03/2004 5:37:12 AM PST by familyofman
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To: TheGeezer; blitzgig
FYI all the links and real story about Bush's Guard duty.
17 posted on 02/03/2004 5:40:57 AM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: HankReardon
Here is a link that you need to throw back at them along with backhoe's fantastic library of links.......we can bury them in this stuff!!!!

BILL CLINTON'S REAL MILITARY RECORD - FOIA

18 posted on 02/03/2004 5:42:05 AM PST by soozla (LIBERALS are the suckiest bunch of suckers that ever sucked!)
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To: familyofman
"Not a good tactic - attacking Kerry's record when it's so much better than Bush's. The return fire on this will be severe. The spinmeisters and attack dogs for the dims want the comparison - don't be foolish enough to lead them there."

What more "comparisons" do they need then GWB's leadership as C in C?????? It's kind of like a resume - you go from the most recent "examples" back as far as you need to go - so, when you do THAT comparison, it's like Kerry is already DOA!!

19 posted on 02/03/2004 5:47:02 AM PST by soozla (LIBERALS are the suckiest bunch of suckers that ever sucked!)
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To: soozla
"What more "comparisons" do they need then GWB's leadership as C in C??????"

Take off the blinders & start thinking like an attack dog (spinmeister) - who will probably say GWB blew the CIC role by getting into a war that was not justified - no WMD. This line is already being used by Dean and others. I wouldn't write Kerry off so quickly on these issues.
20 posted on 02/03/2004 5:56:37 AM PST by familyofman
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To: familyofman
Not a good tactic - attacking Kerry's record when it's so much better than Bush's.

Disagree. Kerry is making his war record the centerpiece of his campaign. He never misses an opportunity to bring it up on the campaign trail. He is doing it for several reasons: contrast his service with GWB; demonstrate that the Dems can handle national security issues; and attract veteran and independent support.

Bush shouldn't cede this issue to Kerry. Kerry's war record does deserve closer scrutiny. He only served 4 months in Vietnam and requested to leave a scant 4 days after receiving his third superficial wound. Who wrote him up for his Silver and Bronze stars? Will he make the citations public? Did he committ atrocities while serving in Vietnam, as he has admitted? Moreover, his actions when he returned should also be examined.

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:vWPtWJXn-wYJ:www.usvetdsp.com/jf_kerry.htm%2B&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

21 posted on 02/03/2004 5:56:59 AM PST by kabar
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To: GailA
Like many of the junior U.S. Navy officers who applied for Swift-boat duty, John Kerry had assumed that he would be assigned mostly to relatively safe coastal patrols off South Vietnam.

Kerry's first night on Mekong Delta river patrol found PCF-44, his first Swift boat, supporting a provincial reconnaissance unit (PRU), one of more than 200 such eighteen-man squads in a CIA-funded program aimed at destroying the Vietcong through assassination, kidnapping, and sabotage carried out by Vietnamese mercenaries.

Paid four times what privates in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) received, plus hefty bounties per kill or captured prisoner or weapon,

PRU members in many cases were hardened South Vietnamese criminals given a choice between life imprisonment and joining up; in others they were North Vietnamese and Vietcong defectors recruited for their willingness to do anything for a price.

After the PRU had disappeared into the dense mangrove trees lining the bank, Kerry beached his boat on the mud, just a few hundred yards downstream from where the unit had landed. "There we sat silently, waiting to help if called upon," he wrote later in his war notes. "Hours passed slowly by. Then, late at night, a red flare shot into the sky from the PRU's position. It meant 'Emergency Extraction'—get the PRU's out as fast as possible." Two patrol boat river craft (PBRs) that were anchored close by also sprang into action. Before Kerry and his crew could get their Swift off the mud, "the PBRs had disappeared up a small estuary." The skipper of one was on the radio shouting to headquarters, "Emergency Extraction requested—moving in now—Emergency Extraction requested."

The Swift boat's young lieutenant had scant idea what he and his men were supposed to do. "The disorganization was incredible," Kerry wrote in his war notes. "We had never worked with the PBR's before. The Operation Order given to us that morning contained no contingencies for Swift boats." Kerry's Swift came under fire, but the crew couldn't tell from where. In the rush to get out of there, the boat ran aground. Finally the PBRs reappeared. Kerry's account of that night's events continued.

They had a sampan in tow and were moving very slowly, confident that the shooting was over for the evening. [Boatswain's Mate Stephen W.] Hatch nursed the Swift alongside the PBR. I jumped aboard to talk with the Chief Petty Officer in charge. "What happened?" "The PRU's were patrolling through the area when they came on a hut with two people in it. Man and a woman. PRU's went in and found the woman writing a letter to her VC boyfriend. So they took 'em into custody. As they were comin back they spotted a sampan with four people in it. They took 'em under fire and that's it." It seemed like an every day occurrence to him. "Were the people killed?" I ventured timidly. "Hell yes. PRU's don't miss when they shoot." "But the people in the sampan didn't fire or anything?" Just shooting them seemed incredible.

The Vietcong were not easily frightened—and not easily recognized. The battlefield was everywhere in Vietnam, and the enemy was sometimes a barefoot child carrying a bomb in a satchel. As a result, for the most part the rule on a Swift boat was "better safe than sorry." Every Asian was seen as a potential sniper. If a noise came from the thick mangrove brush on a riverbank, it was deemed wiser to spray the area with machine-gun fire than to make a closer investigation. And if in doing so one accidentally killed a civilian, it was better to keep it to oneself.

One of the most horrific moments of Kerry's tour in Vietnam occurred one day toward the end of winter, when the second Swift boat he commanded, PCF-94, and another Swift were patrolling the Cua Lon River in the southwestern delta region. The night was pitch-black, neither Swift's search or boarding lights were working properly, and both boats kept getting stuck on the bottom of a shallow channel. "Many minutes of silent patrolling had gone by when one of the men yelled sampan off the port bow," Kerry wrote in his war notes.

Everybody froze and we slowed the engines quickly. But the sampan was already by us and wasn't stopping. It was past curfew and nothing was allowed on the river. I told the after gunner to fire a few warning shots and in the confusion all the guns opened up. We moved in on the sampan and taking one of the battle lanterns off the bulkhead shone it on the silhouette of the craft that was now dead in the water.

Technically, the two Swifts had done nothing wrong. The sampan, operating past curfew, was undeniably in a free-fire zone. What's more, there had been several incidents of people in sampans trying to get close enough to U.S. Navy vessels to toss bombs into their pilothouses. But knowing they were following official Navy policy didn't make it any easier for the crews to deal with what they saw next. "The light revealed a woman standing in the stern of the sampan with a child of perhaps two years or less in her arms," Kerry wrote.

Neither [was] harmed. We asked her where the men from the stern were as one of the gunners was sure that he had seen someone moving back there. She gesticulated wildly and I could see traces of blood on the engine mounting. It was obvious that they had been blown overboard. Then someone said that there was a body up front and we moved in closer to see the limbs of a small child limp on the sacks of rice. She had already covered it and when one of the men asked me if I wanted it uncovered I said no realizing that the face would stay with me for the rest of my life and that it was better not to know whether there was a smile or a grimace or whether it was a girl or a boy.

Almost every American who served in Vietnam witnessed or heard about innocents' getting killed. The civilian casualties would haunt the consciences of many veterans, including John Kerry. It was impossible to rectify or rationalize a mistake that resulted in such a death. "The child was still dead," Kerry wrote of the accident on the Cua Lon River, "and we had done it."

"Good Hunting? Good Christ"

The longer he was in the Mekong Delta river system, the more Kerry's war notes reflected a distrust of his direct superiors. He also grew more and more uncomfortable with the tacit assumption that an American life was worth so much more than a Vietnamese life. Although he never saw the slightest evidence of bigotry, hatred, or cruelty of any kind in any of the men he served with on a Swift boat, or in any of his fellow Swift skippers, Kerry was troubled by the callous attitude he perceived coming from the top U.S. brass. Worse, it seemed to be trickling down into the enlisted ranks among men eager for promotions. He wrote in his war notes,

The popular view was that somehow "gooks" just didn't have very much personality—they were ignorant "slopeheads," just peasants with no feelings and no hopes. I don't think this was true among most of the officers and this made me wonder how much of it was feigned among the enlisted so that they would look good in the eyes of their more chauvinistic comrades.

The Chief talked on. "Doesn't matter. They shouldn'a been there. Besides, one of the PRU's says they had guns but that the sampan tipped over and the guns were lost in the water."

Then, Kerry wrote, he looked over at the young woman they had detained, "who was squatting in the rear of the PBR." She was defiant. She sat very calmly, watching the movements of the men who had just blown four of her countrymen to bits. She glared at me. I wondered about her boyfriend who was fighting us somewhere else. The PBR crew said that the men in the sampan got what they had coming to them but I felt a certain sense of guilt, shame, sorrow, remorse—something inexplicable about the way they were shot and about the predicament of the girl. I wanted to touch her and tell her that it was going to be all right but I didn't really know that it would be. Besides, she wouldn't have accepted my gesture with anything but scorn. I looked away and did nothing at all which was really all I could do. I hated all of us for the situation which stripped people of their self respect.

Kerry returned to his boat, and as it moved out to the Soi Rap River, he looked back and saw the PRU mercenaries talking animatedly, no doubt discussing the lucrative killing they had just done. One of them mimicked the expression and the position that one of the dead had assumed at the instant he had become one of the dead. It had been easy. No shot had been fired at them. Besides, the dead didn't matter at all. They were now just four more casualties of war. The United States would now

22 posted on 02/03/2004 6:10:41 AM PST by BushCountry (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity! Oh yea, rub her feet.)
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To: backhoe
November 3, 2000, Friday, Late Edition - Final


SECTION: Section A; Page 27; Column 5; National Desk

LENGTH: 539 words

HEADLINE: THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: MILITARY SERVICE;
Bush's Guard Attendance Is Questioned and Defended

BYLINE: By JO THOMAS

BODY:
Two Democratic senators today called on Gov. George W. Bush to release his full military record to resolve doubts raised by a newspaper about whether he reported for required drills when he was in the Air National Guard in 1972 and 1973.

But a review of records by The New York Times indicated that some of those concerns may be unfounded. Documents reviewed by The Times showed that Mr. Bush served in at least 9 of the 17 months in question.

Dan Bartlett, a Bush spokesman, said that Mr. Bush had fulfilled his military obligations "or he would not have been honorably discharged."

The senators, Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, both Medal of Honor winners, were responding, in a telephone conference with reporters, to an article in The Boston Globe on Tuesday.

The article, citing military records for Mr. Bush, raised questions about whether Mr. Bush performed any duty from April 1972 until September 1973, when he entered Harvard Business School.

A review by The Times showed that after a seven-month gap, he appeared for duty in late November 1972 at least through July 1973.

Mr. Bush was assigned to the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Ellington Air Force Base near Houston, from November 1969, last flying there on April 16, 1972.

In a report dated May 26, 1972, his commander, Maj. William D. Harris Jr., said Mr. Bush had "recently accepted the position as campaign manager for a candidate for the United States Senate."

Mr. Bush went to work for Winton M. Blount a few days after Mr. Blount won the Republican primary in Alabama on May 2, 1972.

From that time until after the election that November, Mr. Bush did not appear for duty, even after being told to report for training with an Alabama unit in October and November.

Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush had been too busy with the campaign to report in those months but made up the time later.

On Sept. 5, 1972, Mr. Bush asked his Texas Air National Guard superiors for assignment to the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery "for the months of September, October and November."

Capt. Kenneth K. Lott, chief of the personnel branch of the 187th Tactical Recon Group, told the Texas commanders that training in September had already occurred but that more training was scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 and Nov. 4 and 5. But Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush did not serve on those dates because he was involved in the Senate campaign, but he made up those dates later.

Colonel Turnipseed, who retired as a general, said in an interview that regulations allowed Guard members to miss duty as long as it was made up within the same quarter.

Mr. Bartlett pointed to a document in Mr. Bush's military records that showed credit for four days of duty ending Nov. 29 and for eight days ending Dec. 14, 1972, and, after he moved back to Houston, on dates in January, April and May.

The May dates correlated with orders sent to Mr. Bush at his Houston apartment on April 23, 1973, in which Sgt. Billy B. Lamar told Mr. Bush to report for active duty on May 1-3 and May 8-10.

Another document showed that Mr. Bush served at various times from May 29, 1973, through July 30, 1973, a period of time questioned by The Globe.

23 posted on 02/03/2004 6:11:00 AM PST by holdonnow
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To: backhoe
The New York Times

View Related Topics


July 22, 2000, Saturday, Late Edition - Final
Correction Appended

SECTION: Section A; Page 1; Column 1; National Desk

LENGTH: 3414 words

HEADLINE: THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: GOVERNOR BUSH'S JOURNEY;
After Yale, Bush Ambled Amiably Into His Future

SERIES: GEORGE BUSH'S JOURNEY: A Man Adrift

BYLINE: By JO THOMAS

DATELINE: HOUSTON

BODY:
George W. Bush left Yale University in the spring of 1968 with a diploma in hand but no plans for what to do with it.

So for five years, not unlike many young men his age, he drifted.

He lived in three states, had at least seven apartments and at least that many girlfriends, held three full-time jobs -- one in business, one in politics and one in public service -- and learned to fly fighter jets with the Air National Guard.

"There are some people who, the minute they get out of college, know exactly what they want to do," he said in a recent interview about what he calls his nomadic years. "I did not. And it didn't bother me. That's just the way it was."

These youthful years also contain the gray areas of his biography: periods of unemployment and a hiatus of at least six months in his National Guard obligations while he worked on a political campaign.

And this was a period in which Mr. Bush has seemed to acknowledge trying drugs, if only by not denying that he did. Although he has steadfastly refused to answer directly whether he used marijuana, cocaine or other illegal drugs, he said last August that he could have passed a 15-year F.B.I. background check when his father became president, apparently ruling out drug use since 1974, but not before.

Of those preceding years, he stood on an earlier answer: "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."

But in dozens of interviews conducted over several months, friends, former girlfriends, neighbors and roommates said they did not recall seeing any signs of drug use.

Indeed, the interviews and an examination of National Guard records create a complicated and sometimes contradictory portrait of Mr. Bush at that time in his life.

Mr. Bush sometimes seemed to inhabit two distinctly different social worlds, on some nights joining poolside parties at the Chateau Dijon, an upscale apartment for young professionals, and on others attending formal dances sponsored by an elite club of 100 bachelors.

He spent more than a year learning to fly supersonic military jets, becoming, by most accounts, among the best in his squadron. Yet he gave up flying -- and for months on end failed to show up for alternative military duty as he had promised, instead working on the hopeless campaign of a political neophyte running against one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill.

He counted among his friends people who today say they smoked marijuana back then, and acquaintances say they saw him at a popular nightclub where pot was sometimes smoked. (Mr. Bush says he does not recall going there.) Yet dozens of people who knew him well described him as a conservative who preferred to party with beer. These friends professed to be baffled by the questions of drug use that have cropped up in his presidential campaign.

He went for months without a steady job, and the jobs he held all came from associates of his father. And he seemed to inhabit a series of successively cheaper, less exclusive apartments in Houston, a city that was about to boom on oil money. Yet friends and acquaintances recalled Mr. Bush as a stable, outgoing, hardworking, unpretentious, idealistic young man who cherished his family and was simply trying to figure out how to make his own way in the world, something he would do a few years later as he started his own business and ran for Congress.

At Ease in a Brooks Brothers Suit


Just before leaving Yale, Mr. Bush was accepted into the Texas Air National Guard, thanks largely to the prominence of his family. It was a path that reduced the chance of his being sent to Vietnam. After a summer of basic training, he spent two years on active duty learning to fly, first in Georgia and later at Ellington Air Force Base, near Houston.

Susan Munson, who met him at a poolside rice-and-beans party she held in 1970 and dated him off and on for several years, recalled that he was very good at arguing.

"He was conservative, and he hung around with people who were more liberal," Ms. Munson said. "Most of George's friends were the type who would sit on the floor with torn jeans and T-shirts. They were people who were well-educated and interested in making the world better."

Another woman who dated Mr. Bush at the time remembered him as "very nice, very straight. There was a little tension between the two of us. I was 'little miss liberal.' He was more conventional than people I knew." The woman, a former beauty queen who is now a lawyer living outside Texas, asked that her name not be used.

"There was a lot of counterculture stuff going on," she said, but "I've been mystified by the rumors about drugs. He wasn't using drugs. I thought he was about the straightest person I knew. He was straight in a refreshing way. He had a very good sense of humor. He had an edge, an energy, charisma. He could be wild and go to a party and drink a lot, but he was a very conventional college guy. He could have been a college guy from the early 60's."

Robert H. Gow, a colleague of Mr. Bush's father, who hired young George W. in early 1971 to work at his agricultural and horticultural conglomerate, Stratford of Houston, remembered him as "a presentable, attractive young college student."

"I've heard all this about a wild youth, but I never saw it," he said. "He was wearing a Brooks Brothers suit. He showed up on time and worked well past five, as we all did." Mr. Bush was assigned to research small nurseries that Mr. Gow hoped to acquire, a job that occasionally took him to Central America. His new boss had been an executive at the elder Bush's Zapata Oil Company and a guest at the Bush home. He gave his young employee a friendly ear.

"George liked to talk," Mr. Gow said. "He was searching for what to do. He was constantly wanting to talk about what to do with his life."

Houston itself was poised for a boom. The 1970's would bring 200 corporations and a flood of newcomers that reached 6,000 a month. As Houston expanded to cover 450 square miles, anything but zoning and mass transit seemed possible.

"It was a big change from what I knew in New England," Mr. Gow recalled. "One time, possibly at the Bushes', I went to a dinner party where one man was talking about walking on the moon. Another transplanted hearts. Another was digging for gold in Guyana. George and I were talking about drilling for oil at the bottom of the ocean. My father thought everybody in Texas must be mad."

The Dorm Away From College


On the raw southwestern edge of Houston in the early 1970's, just after the glittering Galleria shopping complex opened, the Chateau Dijon apartments were the place to live if you were young, ambitious and well-to-do.

The complex on Beverly Hill Street included a mock French chateau and a web of 300 semitropical garden apartments connected by walkways and set among oak trees and swimming pools. One tenant rented an extra apartment for his wine collection. Another, an inventor, used his apartment as a lab.

George W. Bush called it home.

The developer built the Chateau Dijon to be beautiful and comfortable and hired Mildred Alexander, a formidable widow with high-society credentials, as the manager who could keep it that way.

"She knew everybody's family," recalled Robert Sakowitz, the department store heir. "If you made too much noise, she'd let you know. It was a bit like a dormitory; it had that kind of feeling."

John W. Link, who lived in the apartments after law school, said, "You could literally have a whole social life without going outside the Chateau Dijon. You would date different people, and there were groups inside of groups. The guys would have contests: this week, we'll date from only this side of the street."

"Houston was on the edge of the sexual revolution," Mr. Link recalled. "It got here, but it didn't quite get here. We were not L.A., not New York. We were all young, trying to make a living."

Former neighbors at the Chateau remembered the youthful Mr. Bush as a "regular guy" who did not try to capitalize on his family name. But the Bush name was hard to miss. In the fall of 1970, his father ran for the Senate against the father of another Chateau resident, Lloyd M. Bentsen III, a member of a powerful and wealthy Texas family. Mr. Bush worked in the campaign.

"We had Bush banners stretched across the street," remembered Louis Atlas, a neighbor. "We had banners on our cars. The girls wore Bush scarves."

In an interview, Mr. Bush smiled as he recalled his days at the Chateau Dijon. "I'm a person who makes friends easily," he said. "It didn't matter whether I'd grown up there and gone to the University of Texas. There were University of Texas people there and a lot of other people. My wife-to-be was living in the apartments, although I didn't know her. She was at the other end -- I was at the sedate end, of course. But we had fun. We had a lot of fun."

"All of us had jobs," he added. "It wasn't a bunch of people hanging around." He said he did not remember attending the banana daiquiri parties for which two of his friends were famous. "That was a little sophisticated for me," he said. "I might have been more willing to drink beer."

Some of the residents of the Chateau, including Mr. Bush, belonged to a social club that was a far cry from beer parties in someone's apartment. It was the Master's Club, an elite group of about 100 bachelors that held formal dances at local country clubs, allowing its members to keep a toehold in the comfortable, exclusive world in which most of them were raised.

Jim Woodson, the club's organizer and now a Houston real estate executive, got the idea for the name from the golf tournament. The club's parties, he said, offered "a controlled atmosphere. You knew who was dancing next to you."

Ms. Munson remembers the less formal side of the future presidential candidate, the side that cared little about his appearance, for example. "George would wear his father's suit coats when he'd throw them away," Ms. Munson said. "They were obviously his father's suit coats. George wasn't as tall."

"George was interested in people," Ms. Munson said. "He seemed to like to sit around and talk about serious things in a fun way. You didn't get that with most of the guys there. He knew he wanted to own a baseball team, and he wanted to do politics," she said. "He wasn't sure how he was going to get to those goals.'

A Frugal, Not Prodigal, Son


In late spring 1971, Mr. Bush moved from the Chateau Dijon to an unfurnished one-bedroom garage apartment at 2039 1/2 South Boulevard, an elegant neighborhood near Rice University. Donald Ensenat, an old friend, shared this apartment for the rest of that year.

Rosemary Thornton, whose widowed mother, Georgia Corbett, rented the main house at 2039 South Boulevard, said her mother, who was 75 then, liked to sit out on her patio and would banter with Mr. Bush, who "had to walk down her driveway to get to his place."

Mrs. Thornton also recalled her mother's saying: "He doesn't seem lonesome, but you never see him with groups or other people. He's always alone."

In the fall of 1971, after a year of work at Stratford, Mr. Bush quit and was unemployed for the next five or six months. In an interview he said he spent the time flying with the Air National Guard. He was 25.

His father had given up his seat in Congress and was living with his mother in the Waldorf Towers in New York, serving the Nixon administration as its United Nations ambassador.

But according to his parents, there was never any concern about what young George was doing with his life.

In a recent interview, former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, were both asked whether they worried about their son's nomadic period and both dismissed the question.

"He wasn't aimless," Mrs. Bush said. "I don't know why they say that."

She added: "We never worried about it. That's sort of a fiction-ary thing."

Governor Bush echoed the thought. "I think they must have had pretty good confidence in their ability to raise children," he said, "plus they had other children to worry about, too. A teenager is a heck of a lot harder to raise than a guy who has just gotten out of college."

He added that he did not ask them for financial support. "I was supporting myself," he said. "I wasn't calling them saying, 'Hey, I'm out of money again,' or 'Help!' I was making a living."

"It's not that hard to get along financially if you don't have a lot of desires," he added, "and I wasn't spending a lot of money. I think my friends will tell you I'm a frugal person. I was not living it up big time."

Even though his parents profess to have had little concern at the time, one of his father's friends came forward in May 1972 to offer him a job. Jimmy Allison, a former newspaper publisher in Midland, Tex., who had served as a political adviser to the elder Bush, recruited Mr. Bush to go to Alabama to join the Senate campaign of Winton M. Blount, a Republican novice running against a powerful Democratic incumbent, John J. Sparkman.

In a recent interview, Mr. Bush described Mr. Allison, now dead, as "an older figure who served as a mentor in a way, a wonderful friend."

Mr. Blount, a millionaire contractor known throughout Alabama as Red, had served three years as President Nixon's postmaster general but had never run for elective office. After he announced his intention to run, a newspaper columnist remarked that Mr. Blount must have decided "it's as good a time as any to go over Niagara in a barrel."

Nee Bear, who dated Mr. Bush at the time, said she was struck by how hard Mr. Bush worked for Mr. Blount.

"He wanted to be a hands-on guy," remembered Ms. Bear, who first met Mr. Bush while working on the campaign. "He put bumper stickers on in the parking lot, and believe me, that is the pits. At that time in Alabama, people would spit on you if you were a Republican."

Kay Blount Miles, who worked in the office for her father's campaign, remembered Mr. Bush as "funny and fun to be around. He was good at keeping the office up. He worked as part of the team. I never felt he was somebody from the outside coming in."

But it was an uphill battle. Former Gov. George C. Wallace heaped scorn on Mr. Blount for living in a Montgomery mansion with, as Mr. Wallace exaggerated it, 26 bathrooms. Even President Nixon, a fellow Republican, did not help for fear of angering the powerful Senator Sparkman, even though he was a Democrat.

"President Nixon did not support me," Mr. Blount recalled. "Sparkman was a leading senator, and the president needed his support."

Mr. Bush, who monitored the polls, kept the bad news to himself. Not until Election Day did he warn Devere Mclennan, who worked for him and shared an apartment with him, what to expect. "George explained to me we weren't going to win," said Mr. Mclennan, who was expecting a victory.

In an interview 28 years later, Mr. Bush remembered the numbers. "We all teamed together and helped Red get about 36 percent of the vote," he said with a short laugh, "in spite of the fact that Nixon had gotten 72 percent of the vote. The ticket-splitting was phenomenal."

When Mr. Bush went to work on the campaign he was still obligated to serve in the National Guard, and accordingly he sought a transfer to Alabama. His original request, to serve with the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, was rejected because the unit would not meet his military obligation. He requested another assignment in July, and the Texas Air National Guard recommended letting him serve with another Montgomery group, the 187th Tactical Recon Group, from September to November 1972.

On Sept. 15, 1972, the head of personnel for that unit wrote: "Lieutenant Bush should report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, DCO, to perform equivalent training."

Questions about Mr. Bush's military service arose in May when The Boston Globe quoted Mr. Turnipseed, who retired as a general, as saying Mr. Bush never appeared for duty.

In a recent interview, the general took a tiny step back, saying, "I don't think he did, but I wouldn't stake my life on it. I think I would have remembered him. The chances are 99 percent he didn't."

In an interview, Mr. Bush disagreed. "I was there. I know this guy was quoted as saying I wasn't, but I was there."

Emily Marks, who worked in the Blount campaign and dated Mr. Bush, said she recalls that he returned to Montgomery after the election to serve with the Air National Guard.

National Guard records provided by the Guard and by the Bush campaign indicate he did serve on Nov. 29, 1972, after the election. These records also show a gap in service from that time to the previous May. Mr. Bush says he made up for the lost time in subsequent months, and guard records show he received credit for having performed all the required service.

Young Man Without a Game Plan


Back in Houston, Mr. Bush went to live in a four-unit apartment building at 2910 Westheimer, a busy east-west artery. His downstairs neighbor, a florist, had a dog and refused to let the landlord spray pesticides, Ms. Munson recalled, and "the roaches were just terrible."

Ms. Bear agreed: "It was little and dumpy, and there were a lot of bugs. It wasn't a nice place. He drove a white Cutlass, dirty laundry, tennis shoes, and everything else in the back of his car -- just like a guy. No Gucci loafers or things like that."

Asked about other women in Mr. Bush's life at the time, Ms. Bear said: "Not that summer. Well, I don't know. I spent a good deal of time with him. Mr. Lothario I never got the idea that he was. Do you get the impression he's a big romantic? I don't. He never was wolfish. He was a decent guy. He would never be a kiss-and-tell guy. Never."

In January 1973, Mr. Bush went to work for a Houston youth program, Professional United Leadership League, or PULL, set up by John L. White, a former professional football player who knew Mr. Bush's father.

"John had a vision of matching off-season athletes with city kids in the Third Ward, and he wanted me to come work with him," Mr. Bush said. "It was 27 years ago, so I don't remember the exact incident where John and I met each other, but I went down, and it was a great experience.

"I was coming from the west side of town, and this was in the inner city. I saw a lot of tragedy, and I saw a lot of goodness. I saw people who really cared about kids. There are some success stories out of that program, and there are some horrible failures, including this one little boy whom he and I had a very close attachment to, named Jimmy Dean, who's dead, shot on the streets of Houston."

Ms. Bear recalled that Mr. Bush "was trying to get a lot of the baseball players from the Astros and professional athletes to come there and show kids there was a way out. He spent time and energy on those children. He wasn't a dilettante who comes in and says, 'This will look good on my resume.'

Ms. Bear remembered that he liked simple pleasures. She said she never went to a night club with him. "We went to the VFW dance hall in Navasota, Tex., where you saw little old ladies dancing with each other in their housedresses and listened to Bob Wills and the Texas Troubadours. He loved it."

It was during this time that Mr. Bush applied to Harvard Business School, a move for which he thanks Mr. White. "A friend of mine sent me the application, and I really didn't seem to be that interested," Mr. Bush said. "And his attitude was, 'Well, it's a great challenge, and you ought to try it.' "

"So I filled out the application. I don't remember all of it, but I got in, and I wasn't really that excited about going. I think if you look at my full life, I have never been a person---- I haven't had a game plan. I could put it in the perspective of this race: I've never said, 'Gosh, I'll do this in high school, and then this will lead to that, and I'll end up being president.' Or, 'I will go to Harvard Business School so I can be president.'

"The truth of the matter is, I don't know what I'm going to do next, and it doesn't bother me. I do know I'm going to be the president, at least I think I am. We're about to find out in about four months. But I don't know what's after that. I truly don't."

George Bush's Journey

This is the seventh in a series of articles about the lives of the presidential candidates. The next installment will look at George W. Bush's entry into politics.

24 posted on 02/03/2004 6:13:48 AM PST by holdonnow
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To: holdonnow; Poohbah; Howlin; veronica
The chance that facts will stop the likes of John F. Kerry and Michael Moore from spreading these lies is less than the chance that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will serve veal parmesan at their next awards banquet.

25 posted on 02/03/2004 6:16:15 AM PST by hchutch ("Always make your opponent think you know more than you really know." - Capt. John Sheridan)
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To: hchutch
Very true, but at least our people should be armed with some facts.
26 posted on 02/03/2004 6:20:49 AM PST by holdonnow
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To: holdonnow
No doubt about that.

If Kerry and Moore will lie about the President, what else are they lying about?

On the other hand, the President is known as the type of person who will do what he says he will do. There are much worse things than a President who keeps his word, IMHO.
27 posted on 02/03/2004 6:31:27 AM PST by hchutch ("Always make your opponent think you know more than you really know." - Capt. John Sheridan)
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To: familyofman
Not to say they won't try, but I think all of us who believe in Bush as a leader should write it off for what it is and will be.....desperation, on their part. There's no substance or benefit to be made from making the comparison............it can be factually refuted at every turn - Bush has lead this nation through the worst attack on U.S. soil EVER and exhibited leadership, courage and commitment....and he continues to do so - "encumbent advantage" - as long as he gets out there in front of all their junk, it will appear to be just what it is - "crybabies", "posers" & BSers running for office who point fingers and can't back it up - they throw stuff out there for a 60 second sound byte and hope it sticks - people will get REAL tired of this REAL quick!!
28 posted on 02/03/2004 6:35:56 AM PST by soozla (LIBERALS are the suckiest bunch of suckers that ever sucked!)
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To: hchutch
"If Kerry and Moore will lie about the President, what else are they lying about?"

Oh, gee...hmmmmmmmmmm...let's see here.........

THE TRUTH ABOUT "BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE"

29 posted on 02/03/2004 6:43:27 AM PST by soozla (LIBERALS are the suckiest bunch of suckers that ever sucked!)
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To: hchutch
As a former Army Reservist, I can attest that perfect attendance records among the enlisted were rare. Officers in the AR were given preferential treatment, even to having an association to lobby Congress, something enlisted could not do at the time. I got into my unit in 1971, and got right in. Although there was a waiting list of 100,000 nationally, none of my friends had any trouble getting into any unit on short notice.
More interesting to me was the ethnic breakdown of my unit...people who joined in the late '60's were mostly affluent Jewish guys in law or med school or pre med...1970-72 saw the Catholic boys from working and middle class white families...after 1972, recruits were 85% black.
I don't make anything big of this but always interesting.
30 posted on 02/03/2004 6:45:26 AM PST by steve8714
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To: holdonnow
I greatly appreciate your retrieving and posting that information- thank you.
31 posted on 02/03/2004 6:47:29 AM PST by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the TrackBall into the Sunset...)
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To: BushCountry
Later,

Only 3 months in Vietnam?

32 posted on 02/03/2004 6:54:48 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only support FR by donating monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: GailA
With Kerry's kill record (including women and children), I'm surprised he never joined the ATF.
33 posted on 02/03/2004 6:59:24 AM PST by warchild9
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To: areafiftyone
This would be a good post to put a link to as there may be some who don't know.I can't do links,
34 posted on 02/03/2004 8:06:56 AM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: BushCountry
I think Kerry's military record is probably good. And I take it that he wasn't drafted--he went on his own? We need to give credit where it is due. What he CAN be faulted on, legitimately, is his activity when he returned. He threw medals (he claimed were his own but later turned out to belong to someone else) over a wall in protest and spoke before a congressional committee against the War. Others here have found evidence that he was involved in Jane Fonda's protests, but I don't know the details. He also co-authored a book after he returned, The New Soldier, on which appeared a flag upside down. I don't want this type of soldier as commander-in-chief, even if he did serve admirably at the time. His protests and book appeared at a time when his fellow soldiers were still in harm's way in SE Asia.
35 posted on 02/03/2004 8:17:47 AM PST by twigs
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To: twigs
That cover on his book mocked the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.What respect he gives to an historic moment,what a reverence for America's sacrifices on that island.
36 posted on 02/03/2004 8:43:40 AM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: MEG33
Thanks for the detail. This is not a man we want as president and commander-in-chief. I'm willing to overlook the alleged atrocities in which he may have been involved simply because I believe it's just too hard to evaluate and judge after this long a time. Plus, as horrible as these things are, when in combat conditions, things are not as clear as they seem to be later looking back in hindsight. Who knows? Maybe he got so bitter because he did these things. But his actions after his return is enough to evaluate his capability of being president. I hope that the American people can see him for who he apparently is.
37 posted on 02/03/2004 8:50:25 AM PST by twigs
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To: twigs
I just found out what that represented this week,too.

I accept that my disdain for Kerry for his anti war words and actions,and resulting pain to returning soldiers to say nothing of those in Viet Nam,will mean nothing to many voters,sigh.
38 posted on 02/03/2004 8:55:16 AM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: All
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070679/posts
MSNBC's "Imus In The Morning," 2/3/04 (Excerpt from RNC Research w/Sen McCain interview) MUST READ
Republican National Committee ^ | Feb 3, 2004 | RNC Research
Clintons are behind the resurfacing and using their friends in the press to spread the allegations that are without fact.

Read this White House response to these spurious slanders:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070679/posts?page=9#9
39 posted on 02/03/2004 9:04:20 AM PST by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the TrackBall into the Sunset...)
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To: backhoe
It's official; you now have your OWN folder on my IE Favorites! :-)
40 posted on 02/03/2004 10:14:13 AM PST by Howlin (If we don't post, will they exist?)
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To: All
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070771/posts
Bush-Cheney '04 Chair Denounces Character Assassination
Drudge | Today | Marc Racicot
41 posted on 02/03/2004 11:51:01 AM PST by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the TrackBall into the Sunset...)
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To: backhoe
I would like to see View Documents. Some people still believe this urban legend and I want to collect my bets.
42 posted on 02/03/2004 12:01:27 PM PST by Milligan
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To: All
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070735/posts
White House Strikes Back at Critics (over slurs re: military service record by Kerry&gang))
Yahoo! News ^ | 2/3/04 | Terence Hunt - AP
You might wish to take a look at this complete thread, a Free Republic Thread on Bush(43) Service Record

43 posted on 02/03/2004 12:17:44 PM PST by backhoe (The Clintons destroyed the democRat party- they just haven't laid down yet...)
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To: Howlin
It's official; you now have your OWN folder on my IE Favorites...

Cool! I'm honored.

44 posted on 02/03/2004 12:38:01 PM PST by backhoe (The Clintons destroyed the democRat party- they just haven't laid down yet...)
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To: All
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070876/posts
"Bush's stint in Guard scrutinized": REBUTTAL TO TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST HIT PIECE
Dallas Morning News | July 4, 1999 | Pete Slover, George Kuempel
45 posted on 02/03/2004 2:52:41 PM PST by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the TrackBall into the Sunset...)
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To: backhoe
btt
46 posted on 02/03/2004 5:45:49 PM PST by DBrow
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To: backhoe
Last bump of the night.
47 posted on 02/03/2004 8:02:04 PM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: TheEaglehasLanded
FYI
48 posted on 02/03/2004 10:46:01 PM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
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To: All
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1071158/posts
Terry McAuliffe: The Manchurian Chairman? Hugh Hewitt says Dem Party chief 'world-class fool'
WorldNetDaily.com ^ | Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Hugh Hewitt
49 posted on 02/04/2004 2:00:57 AM PST by backhoe (The 1990's? The Decade of Fraud(s)... the 00's? The Decade of Lunatics...)
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To: All
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1071088/posts
Military Service Becomes Weapon in a Kerry-Bush Race (big barf alert)
The New York Times ^ | 2/4/2004 | Elisabeth Bumiller and David M Halbfinger
50 posted on 02/04/2004 2:16:31 AM PST by backhoe
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