Wednesday, September 08, 2004

If at first you don't succeed, Try, Try, Try, Try again!

You can tell its fall, the leaves on the trees are turning, there is a crisp chill in the air signifying the coming of winter, and the AWOL birds are all over the "main stream Media"

Lets look(AGAIN) at why Bush WAS NOT AWOL. First lets look at what had to say about it:

"After graduating from Yale in 1968, Bush escaped conscription and possible combat duty in the then-raging Vietnam War by getting into the Texas Air National Guard. During the next four years Bush served the equivalent of 21 months on active duty, according to the Globe account, including more than a year of flight training. The Globe quoted Bush’s flight instructor, retired Col. Maurice H. Udell, as saying "I would rank him in the top 5 percent of pilots I knew.”

The Globe also said:

Those who trained and flew with Bush . . . said he was among the best pilots in the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. In the 22-month period between the end of his flight training and his move to Alabama, Bush logged numerous hours of duty, well above the minimum requirements for so-called "weekend warriors.""


"Bush moved from Houston to Alabama in May of 1972 to take part in the unsuccessful Senate campaign of Republican Winton Blount. Bush was supposed to report for duty at the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery Alabama. But the unit’s commander at the time, retired Gen. William Turnipseed, was quoted by several news organizations as saying he had no recollection of Bush showing up. "I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered," the Globe quoted him saying.

The Globe quoted Bush as saying through his spokesman Dan Bartlett that he did recall reporting for non-flying duty in Alabama, performing “odds and ends” under supervisors whose names he could not recall."


"The fact is Bush was honorably discharged without ever being officially accused of desertion or being away without official leave."

Next, there are the statements by JOHN "BILL" CALHOUN A former member of the ALABAMA AIR NATIONAL GUARD who attests to the fact that he worked with George Bush in the Alabama National Guard. He states:

"OK, it was either May or June. We had received a call from his commander, asking if he could make his drills with us. My boss there, Colonel Tarmsee (ph) brought him in, told him he was going to be there, and he actually reported in to me. He signed in on each drill. And a drill weekend was two days, a Saturday and Sunday. He would show up at 8:00, like he was supposed to. He signed in. He stayed there all day, and signed out, and he did that both days. And this was up through October, which as best I could remember would have been the last drill, because I know he left to go back to Texas before the election that he was working in."

He went on to say:

"First, there's probably as many people now that come forward and said they saw him there at some point as have come forward and said they didn't see him. I can say I saw him there, and I know he was there. I talked to him. Occasionally we'd eat lunch together. The people that -- I have heard no one say he wasn't there. They just said they didn't see him, which was not unusual, with 200 or 300 people on base and him not being a pilot flying our aircraft, he would not be around our pilots. So that's one thing.

The documentation which I have seen -- and like I said, all this information has come to me in the last three days when the records were released. All I can say is this was normally done with a phone call from a commander to commander to make a drill with another unit. And when -- the paperwork may come later. You may be there two or three months before paperwork, and you may never get any paperwork. But he did -- we did make him sign in, which is what our records required. And these were sent to administration, our pay, and they were supposed to be reported on his unit, because normally, he would not have been paid with us."

Finally, and the most persuasive, is this letter written COL. WILLIAM CAMPENNI. He does a great job explaining what it was like serving in the TANG at that time. Here are some excerpts:

"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"

"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."

"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."


"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."

For more information on the AWOL lie, go to HobbsOnline and especially look at the was Bush AWOL section