Skip to comments.Bush Guard Service, The True Story
Posted on 08/27/2004 3:46:59 AM PDT by kattracks
This is the only place that you will get the full and true story of President Bushs Air National Guard service. There are no UNANSWERED questions. There are no missing records. He did not miss any meetings. The truth is known. You can find everything in this article, in other publications but none of the others are complete. You have to put them all together to get the full story. It is a shame that our national "objective" media refuse to do their job and put the whole story together.
First, in answer to the charge that Bush was AWOL or missed meetings, George Bush was NEVER assigned to the Alabama Guard. This is a myth promoted by the "objective" media. Here is what really happened. Here is what the head of the Alabama Guard said.
Turnipseed states Bush was never ordered to report to the Alabama Air National Guard. He points out that Bush never transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama Air National Guard. He remained in the Texas Guard during his stay in Alabama. This was confirmed by the Texas Guard. And Turnipseed added that Bush was never under his command or any other officer in the Alabama Guard.
Turnipseed added that Bush was informed of the drill schedule of the Alabama Guard as a courtesy so he could get credit for drills while in Alabama for his service record in the Texas Guard. There was no compulsory attendance. This was also confirmed by the Texas Guard.
This was reported in the Chicago Sun-Times and has never been picked up by any other news organization. Turnipseed then also added.
For Bush to be "AWOL" or "away without leave," he would have had to have been assigned to a unit and under its command.
For the liberals reading this, go back and read it again. You see, Bush did NOT miss any meetings. The whole argument is nonsense. He got permission from his commanding officer to go to Alabama and attend meetings as a courtesy so he could attend when he could. Another part of this attack is that no one saw Bush at the meetings he did attend. It was reported that Turnipseed never saw Bush. Read what was reported about that.
Turnipseed reversed gear after retired Lt. Col. John "Bill" Calhoun went public to say that not only did he remember Bush in Alabama, but that it was Turnipseed himself that introduced the two. Oops. And really...the media is completely asleep at the switch on this one. How many people that you saw a few times do you remember from 30 years ago?
Why didnt fellow pilots see Bush in Alabama? The planes being flown by the Alabama Guard were not the same as the F102 that Bush was trained on. Why would pilots see him if he was not flying? That is why Lt. Col. Calhoun came forward to say that was Bush was in his office for study and drill time. Remember he was not assigned to the unit, he did NOT have to be there.
The following is from a letter by Col. William Campenni Ret. published in the Washington Times.
There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to avoid the draft, and that was for those who wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending the next two years on active duty going through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year), survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout (up to three more months) before he was even deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure weren't getting out of duty being an Air Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100, you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding service? Yeah, tell that to those guys. The Bush critics do not comprehend the dangers of fighter aviation at any time or place, in Vietnam or at home, when they say other such pilots were risking their lives or even dying while Lt. Bush was in Texas. Our Texas ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt. Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life.
Here is some information that the "objective" media avoids telling you. John Kerry joined the Navy Reserve, he did not JOIN the Navy. The Reserve was just like the National Guard. Kerry did NOT know he would be sent to Vietnam.
George Bush joined the Guard for a SIX-year term. If you are drafted, you only have to serve TWO years. Bush probably did not need to pull strings to get into a jet fighter unit. Jets required a greater time commitment than normal Guard postings. Pilots from the unit that he joined were being sent to Vietnam. All the publications that have researched this have concluded that there is NO evidence that he used any influence to get into the Guard. The liberal publications will say that there is no evidence, but it is still suspicious. That is a good journalistic standard? So, do you get it, Bush joined a unit that at the time was serving in Vietnam.
The following is research from aerospaceweb.org ........
Nevertheless, we have established that the F-102 was serving in combat in Vietnam at the time Bush enlisted to become an F-102 pilot. In fact, pilots from the 147th FIG of the Texas ANG were routinely rotated to Vietnam for combat duty under a program called "Palace Alert" from 1968 to 1970. Palace Alert was an Air Force program that sent qualified F-102 pilots from the ANG to bases in Europe or southeast Asia for periods of three to six months for frontline duty. Fred Bradley, a friend of Bush's who was also serving in the Texas ANG, reported that he and Bush inquired about participating in the Palace Alert program. However, the two were told by a superior, MAJ Maurice Udell, that they were not yet qualified since they were still in training and did not have the 500 hours of flight experience required. Furthermore, ANG veteran COL William Campenni, who was a fellow pilot in the 111th FIS at the time, told the Washington Times that Palace Alert was winding down and not accepting new applicants.
As he was completing training and being certified as a qualified F-102 pilot, Bush's squadron was a likely candidate to be rotated to Vietnam. However, the F-102 was built for a type of air combat that wasn't seen during that conflict, and the plane was withdrawn from southeast Asia in December 1969. The F-102 was instead returned to its primary role of providing air defense for the United States. In addition, the mission of Ellington AFB, where Bush was stationed, was also changing from air defense alert to training all F-102 pilots in the US for Air National Guard duty. Lt. Bush remained in the ANG as a certified F-102 pilot who participated in frequent drills and alerts through April of 1972. ... By this time, the 147th Fighter Wing was also beginning to transition from the F-102 to the F-101F, an updated version of the F-101B used primarily for air defense patrols. Furthermore, the war in Vietnam was nearing its end and the US was withdrawing its forces from the theater. Air Force personnel returning to the US created a glut of active-duty pilots, and there were not enough aircraft available to accommodate all of the qualified USAF and ANG pilots. Since USAF personnel had priority for the billets available, many of the Air National Guard pilots whose enlistments were nearly complete requested early release. The ANG was eager to fulfill these requests because there was not enough time to retrain F-102 pilots to operate new aircraft before their enlistments were up anyway. Bush was one of those forced out by the transition, and he was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in October 1973, eight months before his six-year enlistment was complete. Bush had approximately 600 flight hours by the time he completed his military service.
The folks at aerospaceweb concluded.........
While Bush did not see combat in Vietnam, it is also obvious he was not seeking a way to avoid the risk of being sent to Vietnam. At the time he was training to be an F102 pilot, ANG units and that aircraft type were based in Vietnam.
In conclusion, there is no evidence Bush got special treatment to join the Guard. He did NOT miss any meetings, he was not assigned to the Alabama Guard. The reason the so called "objective" media holds on to this myth is that it lets them keep asking, where was Bush? The issue of his being grounded is also answered because he would no longer be flying since his plane was obsolete and he did not have enough Guard time left to train in a new jet. You dont need to report for a physical if you are not flying. Duh!
Kerry joined the Navy Reserve and did not expect to go to Vietnam. When Kerry did go to Vietnam the swift boats were not during river patrols. They were doing coastal patrols and were not in much danger. That is when he volunteered to join the Swiftees. The assignment of those boats was changed after he was accepted for the duty. Surprise, he got action and the rest is disputed history.
The information in this article was published in "George Magazine", "New York Times", "Washington Times", "Chicago Sun-Times", "Washington Post" and aerospaceweb.org.
About the Writer: Gordon Bloyer has been called a Renaissance man by Ronn Owens of KGO radio in San Francisco. Rush Limbaugh read from a letter by Gordon on his national radio show. President Ronald Reagan invited Gordon to the White House to thank him for his support. He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. The Gordon Bloyer Show can be seen at http://gordonbloyershow.com .
Thanks for the links, Howlin!
Bumped and bookmarked; thanks!
That one's a keeper.
41 wasn't head of the CIA then.
ANOTHER EXCELANT FIND - POSTED ON FREEREPUBLIC EARLIER THIS WEEK
Bush and I in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron from 1970 to 1971. (my title)
COL. WILLIAM CAMPENNI (retired) open public letter to Washington Times | 8/24/2004 | A Navy Vet
Letters to the Editor
'Bush and I were lieutenants'
George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971. We had the same flight and squadron commanders (Maj. William Harris and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, both now deceased). While we were not part of the same social circle outside the base, we were in the same fraternity of fighter pilots, and proudly wore the same squadron patch.
It is quite frustrating to hear the daily cacophony from the left and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, et al., about Lt. Bush escaping his military responsibilities by hiding in the Texas ANG. In the Air Guard during the Vietnam War, you were always subject to call-up, as many Air National Guardsmen are finding out today. If the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush. They deliberately avoided use of the Guard and Reserves for domestic political calculations, knowing that a draftee only stirred up the concerns of one family, while a call-up got a whole community's attention.
The mission of the 147th Fighter Group and its subordinate 111th FIS, Texas ANG, and the airplane it possessed, the F-102, was air defense. It was focused on defending the continental United States from Soviet nuclear bombers. The F-102 could not drop bombs and would have been useless in Vietnam. A pilot program using ANG volunteer pilots in F-102s (called Palace Alert) was scrapped quickly after the airplane proved to be unsuitable to the war effort. Ironically, Lt. Bush did inquire about this program but was advised by an ANG supervisor (Maj. Maurice Udell, retired) that he did not have the desired experience (500 hours) at the time and that the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.
If you check the 111th FIS records of 1970-72 and any other ANG squadron, you will find other pilots excused for career obligations and conflicts. The Bush excusal in 1972 was further facilitated by a change in the unit's mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather than part-time traditional reservists with outside employment.
The winding down of the Vietnam War in 1971 provided a flood of exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous. There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many were shoved into nonflying desk jobs. Any pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease after 1972 before his commitment was up because there just wasn't room for all of them anymore.
Sadly, few of today's partisan pundits know anything about the environment of service in the Reserves in the 1970s. The image of a reservist at that time is of one who joined, went off for six months' basic training, then came back and drilled weekly or monthly at home, with two weeks of "summer camp." With the knowledge that Mr. Johnson and Mr. McNamara were not going to call out the Reserves, it did become a place of refuge for many wanting to avoid Vietnam.
There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to avoid the draft, and that was for those who wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending the next two years on active duty going through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year), survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout (up to three more months) before he was even deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure weren't getting out of duty being an Air Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100, you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding service? Yeah, tell that to those guys.
The Bush critics do not comprehend the dangers of fighter aviation at any time or place, in Vietnam or at home, when they say other such pilots were risking their lives or even dying while Lt. Bush was in Texas. Our Texas ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt. Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life.
Critics such as Mr. Kerry (who served in Vietnam, you know), Terry McAuliffe and Michael Moore (neither of whom served anywhere) say Lt. Bush abandoned his assignment as a jet fighter pilot without explanation or authorization and was AWOL from the Alabama Air Guard.
Well, as for abandoning his assignment, this is untrue. Lt. Bush was excused for a period to take employment in Florida for a congressman and later in Alabama for a Senate campaign.
Excusals for employment were common then and are now in the Air Guard, as pilots frequently are in career transitions, and most commanders (as I later was) are flexible in letting their charges take care of career affairs until they return or transfer to another unit near their new employment. Sometimes they will transfer temporarily to another unit to keep them on the active list until they can return home. The receiving unit often has little use for a transitory member, especially in a high-skills category like a pilot, because those slots usually are filled and, if not filled, would require extensive conversion training of up to six months, an unlikely option for a temporary hire.
As a commander, I would put such "visitors" in some minor administrative post until they went back home. There even were a few instances when I was unaware that they were on my roster because the paperwork often lagged. Today, I can't even recall their names. If a Lt. Bush came into my unit to "pull drills" for a couple of months, I wouldn't be too involved with him because I would have a lot more important things on my table keeping the unit combat ready.
Another frequent charge is that, as a member of the Texas ANG, Lt. Bush twice ignored or disobeyed lawful orders, first by refusing to report for a required physical in the year when drug testing first became part of the exam, and second by failing to report for duty at the disciplinary unit in Colorado to which he had been ordered. Well, here are the facts:
First, there is no instance of Lt. Bush disobeying lawful orders in reporting for a physical, as none would be given. Pilots are scheduled for their annual flight physicals in their birth month during that month's weekend drill assembly the only time the clinic is open. In the Reserves, it is not uncommon to miss this deadline by a month or so for a variety of reasons: The clinic is closed that month for special training; the individual is out of town on civilian business; etc.
If so, the pilot is grounded temporarily until he completes the physical. Also, the formal drug testing program was not instituted by the Air Force until the 1980s and is done randomly by lot, not as a special part of a flight physical, when one easily could abstain from drug use because of its date certain. Blood work is done, but to ensure a healthy pilot, not confront a drug user.
Second, there was no such thing as a "disciplinary unit in Colorado" to which Lt. Bush had been ordered. The Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver is a repository of the paperwork for those no longer assigned to a specific unit, such as retirees and transferees. Mine is there now, so I guess I'm "being disciplined." These "disciplinary units" just don't exist. Any discipline, if required, is handled within the local squadron, group or wing, administratively or judicially. Had there been such an infraction or court-martial action, there would be a record and a reflection in Lt. Bush's performance review and personnel folder. None exists, as was confirmed in The Washington Post in 2000.
Finally, the Kerrys, Moores and McAuliffes are casting a terrible slander on those who served in the Guard, then and now. My Guard career parallels Lt. Bush's, except that I stayed on for 33 years. As a guardsman, I even got to serve in two campaigns. In the Cold War, the air defense of the United States was borne primarily by the Air National Guard, by such people as Lt. Bush and me and a lot of others. Six of those with whom I served in those years never made their 30th birthdays because they died in crashes flying air-defense missions.
While most of America was sleeping and Mr. Kerry was playing antiwar games with Hanoi Jane Fonda, we were answering 3 a.m. scrambles for who knows what inbound threat over the Canadian subarctic, the cold North Atlantic and the shark-filled Gulf of Mexico. We were the pathfinders in showing that the Guard and Reserves could become reliable members of the first team in the total force, so proudly evidenced today in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It didn't happen by accident. It happened because back at the nadir of Guard fortunes in the early '70s, a lot of volunteer guardsman showed they were ready and able to accept the responsibilities of soldier and citizen then and now. Lt. Bush was a kid whose congressman father encouraged him to serve in the Air National Guard. We served proudly in the Guard. Would that Mr. Kerry encourage his children and the children of his colleague senators and congressmen to serve now in the Guard.
In the fighter-pilot world, we have a phrase we use when things are starting to get out of hand and it's time to stop and reset before disaster strikes. We say, "Knock it off." So, Mr. Kerry and your friends who want to slander the Guard: Knock it off.
COL. WILLIAM CAMPENNI (retired)
U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard
I don't believe we have conclusive evidence that he didn't miss drills. IIRC the story was he had to play catch-up in one year just to make sure he got a good year in, i.e. he must have missed some drills.
Also, if I'm not mistaken, you can't be considered AWOL unless you already signed in at drill. Missing drills does not constitute being AWOL. I sure remember a lot of guys who missed drills without getting the boot.
Even if the truth is in their face, people will still prefer to believe a lie.
I can't remember where I read it, but I was under the impression that Kerry volunteered for Vietnam duty with the specific intent of cruising around on coastal patrols and thereby getting just close enough to the action to credibly claim that he served in a combat zone. When he found out the swift boat duties had changed to a more dangerous river running role he was livid. At that point he probably figure the Navy owed him some medals and an early trip home, and he knew that he could intimidate commanding officers with his family money and political connections.
Navy, can you post the link for this? I'd like to share with my address book. Thanks.
Bump for later research
Bump for files
Thanks For Posting This Article.
bumped and bookmarked
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.