Skip to comments.Bush credited for Guard drills (Kapow!)
Posted on 02/10/2004 4:49:27 AM PST by The G ManEdited on 04/13/2004 2:11:35 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
President Bush received credit for attending Air National Guard drills in the fall of 1972 and spring of 1973 -- a period when his commanders have said he did not appear for duty at bases in Montgomery, Ala., and Houston -- according to two new documents obtained by the Globe.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
In a normal and rational world, yes, it would be closed. It would have been closed long ago.
From the tone of the article it appears these jerks are not about to let it go.
I think their plan is to somehow discredit his service in order to take away the image of The Flight Suit. Plus elevate Ketchup Boy above the Commander in Chief.
This has absolutely nothing to do with Bush's Guard service. It has EVERYTHING to do with the Dem's desperation in trying to find an "issue" since it's patently obvious they're going to be wearing their collective arses as hats come November.
This lame attempt at trying to contrast Bush's service with Kerry's is just that..............incredibly weak, incredibly lame; a non-issue.
If THIS is all they've got...................................................................
BTW.........re: Kerry's service: I salute any man (or woman) who put on a uniform and wound up on the other side of the world in defense of their country.....or even just following orders, no matter their individual motivation. Can't take that away from Mr. Kerry. That said.........I haven't seen any evidence that he was a true "hero". Not saying he wasn't.......just haven't seen proof or real eyewitness accounts. Either way, his behavior upon returning was nigh unto treasonous.
The Rats may have over done it because questions about Kerry's involvement with Jane Fonda are coming to the fore.
This is the why of The Globe getting these documents. The 'Rats won't let it go.
If that commander was William Turnipseed, the Globe's crack (cocaine) reporters have it wrong again.
I am sure it was an "oversight" as Dukakis and Kerry like to say.
The only thing that the Democrats' target audience knows about the military is what they saw in the movies.
They'll believe anything Terry McAuliffe tells them.
It would be the soundbite of the evening, and no reputable media outlet could take issue with it.
No, can't take that away. Can point out he returned to foment anti-war protests that specifically charged U.S. soldiers with being criminals. John Kerry aided and abetted the anti-soldier sentiment that swept the country and resulted in other soldiers returning home only to be spat upon.
John Kerry wishes to wear the mantle of hero while having participated in denigrating others who served. See his testimony before Congress. Outrageous.
I'll repeat. I have never questioned what he actually did over in Vietnam. He saved a man's life. Fine. That does not mean his subsequent actions should then be off limits to question.
"A document in Mr. Bush's military records," the paper said, "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 paper found corroboration for the document, noting, "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."
Yet another document obtained by the Times blew the Bush AWOL story out of the water. It showed that Mr. Bush served at various times from May 29, 1973, through July 30, 1973 - "a period of time questioned by The Globe," the Times sheepishly admitted.
AUSTIN, Texas -- When George W. Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, there was little chance he would ever see Vietnam from the cockpit of his F-102 Delta Dagger jet fighter.
When the plane was in demand overseas, Bush was not yet qualified to fly it. By the time he passed his final combat flight test in June 1970, the Air Force was pulling the jets out of Southeast Asia.
Bush, the Texas governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said in his autobiography that he and a friend, Fred Bailey, tried to join the Palace Alert program that rotated National Guard pilots into Vietnam. A colonel told them only a few more pilots would go and "Fred and I had not logged enough hours to participate," Bush wrote.
Retired Col. Maury Udell, who trained Bush to fly the F-102, has no doubt his pupil was willing to go to Vietnam. Udell agreed that Bush was too inexperienced for Palace Alert, but he said the young man did become a good fighter pilot. "George got really good in air-to-air combat," he said.
Udell, now a 270-pound judo expert who describes himself as a "war-type guy," said Bush had an extraordinary memory and ability to process information. From Udell's perspective, Bush's ability to overcome his aristocratic schooling at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale University and mix with the other guardsmen was more impressive. "It is OK to get a good education, but some of those people are a little off the wall," he said. "I just wanted to make sure that he was in it for real."
Udell said he spent six hours a day for six months training Bush. And that's not all. "We would go to the bar and play dead bug just like everybody else," he said. When someone yelled "dead bug" the pilots would hit the floor and stick their hands and feet up in the air. "The last guy to do that has to buy the next round," Udell said, laughing. "He was really good with folks," he said. But the young pilot did not take insults well: "You can't put him down too easily. He's really tough. He'll fight you."
This is an outright lie which the Commander (Gen. Turnipseed) has repeatedly disavowed. In fact, as recently as last week, Turnipseed stated that he did not even know who George Bush was back them and that as far as he knew, Bush showed up and completed his obligation. But, I guess those fact would also show that the Globe's orignal story (back 1999/2000)was a pile of B.S.
If anyone in America has an obligation to vote, it is most certainly Veterans--men and women who have personally sacrificed to preserve the principles that guide the greatest nation in the world. As a voting-block, we rank with AARP as one of the single-largest groups that should be courted by any person seeking elective political office. Sadly, there are fewer politicians serving in the United States Senate and House of Representatives than at any time in our history. I believe most military veterans will quickly agree with me that we need more of our brothers and sisters in elective office. I'm afraid, however, many of you will be quick to disagree with the issue I would like to address in this column.
There is great danger for any veteran who steps forward to seek elective office. Sadly, it seems that veterans are quick to "eat their own." Several years ago while attending a high-profile veterans function in Washington, DC, I was surprised to learn that the majority of the rhetoric was aimed at blasting Senator John McCain. The web was full of negative stories about the former Prisoner of War, much of it sensational and tabloid journalism. But the repetition of the criticism by so many veterans caused me to begin to wonder if my own admiring assessment of the man might be in error.
Then, while attending a Medal of Honor convention as a guest of the Society, I heard Medal of Honor recipient George Bud Day talk about his time at the Hanoi Hilton with John McCain. One of the most decorated heroes in American military history, Colonel Day is an incredible hero and an American icon. His respect for John McCain was quickly apparent, and I learned promptly the danger of giving too much credence to rumor and diatribe in the veteran community. Whether stemming from jealousy, or from some other source, the easiest way to become the enemy of a small but highly vocal group of veterans is to become high-profile and successful. Sadly, it can be a dangerous thing to be a veteran in the spotlight. One of the first things to be called into question is the nature of one's service...and all too often it comes from fellow veterans.
During the last presidential campaign, as a conservative and as a Republican I supported George Bush. Nonetheless, I was greatly disturbed to see veterans turn on Al Gore for the sheltered nature of his Vietnam service. First and foremost, I could understand that. If I had been the man's company commander, I'd have taken every step possible to keep the son of a prominent American politician out of harm's way. Secondarily, Al Gore as a correspondent for Castle Courier, my own unit's newspaper, covered the Lam Son 719 mission in the field. I was involved in that mission, earned the ARCOM with "V" for the initial assault, and may well have bumped into him in the early months of 1971. I know he was not TOTALLY sheltered--there was NO safe place when we returned to Khe Sahn.
The bottom line is this:
The honorable service of no veteran should be called into question, purely for political purpose or because one disagrees with the affiliation of that politician.
In the days leading up to the war in Iraq, one of the most high-profile protestors of the war was a former Army chaplain who earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. This man returned his Medal years ago in protest against other political policies, and continues to be involved in unpopular and often-radical movements. What this man has done since his service in Vietnam may be offensive to many, but it does not diminish the acts of heroism that earned him the title "hero" in Vietnam. Though he is not involved in the Medal of Honor Society, he is STILL a man who performed heroically under fire, and having heard first-hand from men who were there at the time, these still admire him for his courage in that moment in time. We may disagree with his current political activism, even despise his anti-war activities in Iraq, but the man's personal service in Vietnam is deserving of our respect.
In recent years we've seen former Senator Robert Kerrey assailed by some in the veterans community, his Medal of Honor called into question, and his service in Vietnam scrutinized for every detail of sensational war-crimes. As with Al Gore, I am certainly not a Kerrey fan politically, but I have ultimate respect for the man and his military service. I am saddened that so many of his fellow veterans, men who were not there to witness the man's service, are quick to jump on the bandwagon to try and destroy an American hero.
Heroism, and the nature of one's service, is in the eye of the beholder. As a historian, I could not begin to count the number of heroes I've heard bashed. Recently, while doing a story on a WWII airman, I interviewed a crewman who flew on the mission in which this individual died earning the Medal of Honor. "(Name) was an *****, this man told me. He never deserved to receive the Medal of Honor, and the Army only gave it to him because he was killed."
A few days later I interviewed another member of the crew of that same aircraft. This man was with the dying hero, indeed held him in his arms until the man died. With great emotion he related, "(Name) was one of the greatest heroes of the air war. It's sad so few people have ever heard his story."
I opted to make this the current topic for commentary, for we are now entering a new round of political maneuvering for the White House. Recently my email has been full of messages from veterans assailing the military record of Democratic front-runner Senator John Kerry (no relation to Bob Kerrey and NOT a Medal of Honor recipient). Despite the fact that Senator Kerry came home from Vietnam and engaged in radical anti-war activities, one cannot deny respect to his service before coming home that earned him the Silver Star, Bronze Star with "V", and three Purple Hearts. Sure, you will hear veterans claim that his Purple Hearts were awarded for minor wounds. The argument is unfair, many other Vietnam Veterans received Purple Hearts for minor wounds but I would certainly NOT take away from them the legitimate right to wear the award or to be rendered the respect it deserves. Others will question the merits of John Kerry's Silver Star. Almost without exception, the outcry will come from veterans who have never met the Massachusetts Senator and who have NO personal knowledge of the details behind the award other than the text of the citation.
I, for one, will not vote for John Kerry if he receives the Democratic nomination to run against George Bush. I make this decision based SOLELY upon what John Kerry has done SINCE his military service in Vietnam, and based upon his current political agenda. I will NOT, however, criticize his military service in Vietnam or downplay his medals. For all the wrong things he may have done since the war, while in the uniform of the United States Navy he did some things VERY WELL, and I will honor that.
I hope that others of the veterans community will do likewise.