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Bush's Military Service Record

Election 2004 Bush Military Record

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#1 Hambil

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 12:27 PM

1968:
With the Vietnam war in full swing, Bush was due to graduate from Yale. Knowing he'd soon be eligible for the draft, he took an air force officers' test hoping to secure a billet with the Texas Air National Guard, which would allow him to do his military service at home.

Bush didn't do particularly well on the test--on the pilot aptitude section, he scored in the 25th percentile, the lowest possible passing grade.

But Bush's father, George H.W., was then a U.S. congressman from Houston, and strings were pulled. The younger Bush vaulted to the head of a long waiting list--a year and a half long, by some estimates--and in May of '68 he was inducted into the guard.


1972:
Bush helps out with Winton Blount's political campaign, instead of fight in the war.

Pentagon insitutes random drug screning. Bush refuses to take a physical and gets grounded.

In September he was ordered to report to a different unit of the Alabama guard, the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery. Bush says he did so, but his nominal superiors say they never saw the guy, there's no documentation he ever showed up, and not one of the six or seven hundred soldiers then in the unit has stepped forward to corroborate Bush's story.

After the November election Bush returned to Texas, but apparently didn't notify his old Texas guard unit for quite a while, if ever.


1973:
The Boston Globe initially reported that he started putting in some serious duty time in May, June, and July of 1973 to make up for what he'd missed. But according to a piece in the New Republic, there's no evidence Bush did even that.

Whatever the case, even though his superiors knew he'd blown off his duties, they never disciplined him.

Indeed, when Bush decided to go to business school at Harvard in the fall of 1973, he requested and got an honorable discharge--eight months before his service was scheduled to end.

Edited by Hambil, 20 August 2004 - 12:29 PM.


#2 Lover of Purple

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 12:35 PM

The biggest difference in all of this is that Mr. Kerry has made his war record a cornerstone in his election bid. President Bush has not. Frankly I don't care what either men did during Vietnam. I was almost drafted, but it ended (last numbers picked didn't go, I was one). Am I happy? You bet!

Kerry may have worked hard to get three purple hearts so he could get out (A common occurence I understand), I don't blame him at all.

Bush went into the Air National Guard, fine by me. As a matter of fact mant pilotsgot sent to Vietnam from the A.N.G (I knew many at the end of the war).

So, this is all a non-issue in my book. Many of our politicians did the same things.

Besides, most of this has been hashed over almost on every news station. :)

#3 Hambil

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 12:46 PM

Lover of Purple, on Aug 20 2004, 10:33 AM, said:

The biggest difference in all of this is that Mr. Kerry has made his war record a cornerstone in his election bid. President Bush has not.
I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit and landed on an Aircraft carrier to declare we'd won the war. Also, by choosing to attack Kerry's record Bush has made his own record an issue. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

As far as this being covered before: So has Kerry's record. As long as people keep bring it up, I'll keep bringing this up. Why wouldn't I?

#4 Lover of Purple

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 12:50 PM

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 09:44 AM, said:

I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit and landed on an Aircraft carrier to declare we'd won the war. Also, by choosing to attack Kerry's record Bush has made his own record an issue. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

As far as this being covered before: So has Kerry's record. As long as people keep bring it up, I'll keep bringing this up. Why wouldn't I?
Well, he never said we won the war. He did say major fighting was over. Besides when has any politician ever missed a photo-op? :D

Hey, bring it up all you want. I understand completely. I didn't mean to imply you shouldn't. Sorry about that.

#5 Hambil

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 01:08 PM

Lover of Purple, on Aug 20 2004, 10:48 AM, said:

Hey, bring it up all you want. I understand completely. I didn't mean to imply you shouldn't. Sorry about that.
Don't make me give you a big purple hug... ;)

#6 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 01:13 PM

Well, I was going to say it, but Hambil said it first.

Also, Bush, and his supporters, are pointing to his strength as a "War Time President". That's the flight suit, and the big tough warrior talk.  The documentary evidence (such as it is) of his actual time in uniform seems relevant, whether in support or refutation.

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#7 emsparks

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 01:21 PM

The whole thing just gives me another reason to play TV Channel bingo…

How about the new federal rules for over time? Which end of the screwdriver (as in metal not liquid) are you on.

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#8 Rhea

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 04:16 PM

Lover of Purple, on Aug 20 2004, 09:33 AM, said:

The biggest difference in all of this is that Mr. Kerry has made his war record a cornerstone in his election bid. President Bush has not. Frankly I don't care what either men did during Vietnam. I was almost drafted, but it ended (last numbers picked didn't go, I was one). Am I happy? You bet!

Kerry may have worked hard to get three purple hearts so he could get out (A common occurence I understand), I don't blame him at all.

Bush went into the Air National Guard, fine by me. As a matter of fact mant pilotsgot sent to Vietnam from the A.N.G (I knew many at the end of the war).

So, this is all a non-issue in my book. Many of our politicians did the same things.

Besides, most of this has been hashed over almost on every news station. :)
As far as I'm concerned, Bush made it an issue in 2000 when he attacked McCain's record. It's been an issue ever since for many people.
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#9 Delvo

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:17 PM

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:25 AM, said:

1972:
Pentagon insitutes random drug screning. Bush refuses to take a physical and gets grounded.

In September he was ordered to report to a different unit of the Alabama guard, the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery. Bush says he did so, but his nominal superiors say they never saw the guy, there's no documentation he ever showed up, and not one of the six or seven hundred soldiers then in the unit has stepped forward to corroborate Bush's story.
Bush didn't take the physical because he already knew that he was going to be assigned to non-flight duties and thus had no reasont to take it and wasn't expected to; whether the drug screening bit is true or a lie, it's coincidental and only snuck in there, along with the mischaracterization of "refusing" to take it, for the purpose of IMPLYING a lie, that Bush was avoiding drug screening. His "grounding" was not actually a grounding, a punishment resulting from this, but was simply a reassignment that CAUSED it by making the pilots' physical tests pointless.

His superiors in Alabama saw lots of guys a year and could never seriously say that had "never" seen someone when they know perfectly well that they could have seen people they don't remember anymore. They even say so themselves and describe how people can sometimes get transferred in for a few months of plain logistical/office or other such duty and then be done or transfer without being noticed much by the bigshots. On top of that, there were records eventually found and there were one or two eye-witnesses I've seen interviewed confirming he was there doing what he was supposed to do, although the Democrat claims that there weren't didn't change after those things happened.

I don't know about some of the stuff before and after these items, but I do know about these. And among things you posted here that I do know about, exactly 0% of them are true. Hopefully, the rate goes up on those other items that I haven't heard about elsewhere.(?)

#10 Delvo

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:32 PM

For this post, I'll just assume these other things are true, and respond accordingly...

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:25 AM, said:

1968:
With the Vietnam war in full swing, Bush was due to graduate from Yale. Knowing he'd soon be eligible for the draft, he took an air force officers' test hoping to secure a billet with the Texas Air National Guard, which would allow him to do his military service at home.
Good for him. Good for any draft dodger who finds a legal way to do it. One's life is a serious thing to take risks with, and if you don't want to do it, you're within your rights to preserve your life when others say you should risk it. I don't even hold it against those who break laws to do so, if they don't harm other people in the process. (Such as running to Canada; was that illegal? I don't even care. Good for them, too.)

For that matter, one's life is an important thing to have the right to decide how you'll spend it and what you'll do with it, even if we assume there's no risk. Military service is a career, but like any other career, it should be a choice. I'd resist, too, if someone told me what kind of career I should work in.

However, it should be noted that he was volunteering to learn to fly jets, which at the time was more dangerous than most forms of Vietnam service. If he was avoiding Vietnam out of cowardice, why would his method of doing so involve taking on the HIGHER risk of death or injury by training accident?... I don't know, but it makes me curious if it was a conscientious objection, since it certainly couldn't have been fear of the risks in going.

Quote

But Bush's father, George H.W., was then a U.S. congressman from Houston, and strings were pulled. The younger Bush vaulted to the head of a long waiting list--a year and a half long, by some estimates--and in May of '68 he was inducted into the guard.
It's bad for such a thing to be possible, but it's an opportunity I can't fault anyone for taking, not when the stakes are big issues like one's basic rights to choose how to live one's life and to preserve its continuation.

Quote

1972:
Bush helps out with Winton Blount's political campaign, instead of fight in the war.
Ya, it was a pretty silly rule for political activity to be a viable excuse to not go, but it was, so... see above. (See a pattern here with me and draft-dodging and military service? I was wondering what the big deal was supposed to be about it even back when Bush's father was running against Dukakis and Clinton, when it was apparently supposed to somehow favor him over them.)

Quote

Whatever the case, even though his superiors knew he'd blown off his duties, they never disciplined him.
"No evidence he did" is not the same thing as "they knew he hadn't". To say the latter, one must have evidence, but you haven't said there is any; you've only said there's a lack of it. Either there is, and I'd have a problem with it but you should have told me so :p, or there isn't, in which case "the knew he'd blown off" is a lie.

Quote

Indeed, when Bush decided to go to business school at Harvard in the fall of 1973, he requested and got an honorable discharge--eight months before his service was scheduled to end.
Yes, going to college got one off the hook for military service. I don't see what the big deal is about that rule.

Edited by Delvo, 20 August 2004 - 05:58 PM.


#11 Delvo

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:39 PM

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:44 AM, said:

I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit
You guys really need to get over being so pissy about the suit and pretending that it was playing dress-up. You all know better.

Quote

...and landed on an Aircraft carrier...
That is generally how one arrives to the ship when it's at sea, and being right there with the troops is generally how one addresses them. What makes this a big deal this time after it had been done so many times before, mostly by Democrats?

Quote

...to declare we'd won the war.
Lie.

Quote

Also, by choosing to attack Kerry's record Bush has made his own record an issue.
Bush hasn't attacked Kerry's record, and what attacks have happened only happened AFTER Kerry decided to make Vietnam his entire campaign.

#12 MuseZack

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:50 PM

The fact that this election may hinge on what the two candidates did during a war that ended nearly 30 years ago instead of the one that's raging right now, with American soldiers and marines dying every day (45 so far this month, not that the media's bothering to tell us) strikes me as both insane and an indication of how deeply unserious American politics has become.
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#13 Delvo

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:51 PM

^ ^ It's even odder than me and you agreeing how odd it is.

Edited by Delvo, 20 August 2004 - 05:52 PM.


#14 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:53 PM

We are officially in bizarro land now, I agree as well.

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#15 Shalamar

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 07:26 PM

Can I please add my 'I agree' to ya'lls.  That either man is saying more than a few, ONE TIME sentences on the subject with everything else that is going on is beyond sanity and a very poor reflection on us and US politics.

Vote for either of these two?  I guess we are getting what we deserve....
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#16 Hambil

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 07:28 PM

Delvo, on Aug 20 2004, 03:15 PM, said:

His superiors in Alabama saw lots of guys a year and could never seriously say that had "never" seen someone when they know perfectly well that they could have seen people they don't remember anymore.
1) Weren't you the guy arguing that Kerry should have a perfect memory of everything he did in Vietnam?
2) If the son of a rich US Congressman is on base, his superiors damn well know it.

Edited by Hambil, 20 August 2004 - 07:29 PM.


#17 eryn

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:22 PM

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:44 AM, said:

I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit and landed on an Aircraft carrier to declare we'd won the war.
Just to reiterate... again. A flight suit is sorta necessary when in the cockpit of an S3 Viking dontcha' think?

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#18 Hambil

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:36 PM

mystic, on Aug 20 2004, 06:20 PM, said:

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:44 AM, said:


I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit and landed on an Aircraft carrier to declare we'd won the war.
Just to reiterate... again. A flight suit is sorta necessary when in the cockpit of an S3 Viking dontcha' think?

mystic
S3 Viking's are normally used for transport of the personel?

Edited by Hambil, 20 August 2004 - 08:36 PM.


#19 eryn

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:49 PM

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 07:34 PM, said:

mystic, on Aug 20 2004, 06:20 PM, said:

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:44 AM, said:


I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit and landed on an Aircraft carrier to declare we'd won the war.
Just to reiterate... again. A flight suit is sorta necessary when in the cockpit of an S3 Viking dontcha' think?

mystic
S3 Viking's are normally used for transport of the personel?
An S-3 Viking is a submarine chaser that has been converted into a strike aircraft. Typically cargo and personel would be transported in a C-2  Greyhound. The Greyhound has no ejection seats.  *IF* a C-2 Greyhound experienced trouble, the president would be in a wee spot of trouble. The S-3 Viking has ejection seats and could get the president and the crew clear of the crashing aircraft. The S-3 was selected for safety reasons. :)

If Bush was really looking to grandstand he would've landed in the backseat of a Hornet or a Tomcat. The reason the S-3 was picked is because it is a large aircraft more reliable then a fighter but still equiped with ejection seats. Carrier landings and operations off of carriers are never 100% safe and landings are always a controlled crash, therefore you'd want the president landing in the safest aircraft best suited for the job at hand.

And I think I've suffeciently driven the topic off of course... Oops. ;)

mystic

Edited by mystic, 20 August 2004 - 08:50 PM.

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#20 Hambil

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 08:51 PM

mystic, on Aug 20 2004, 06:47 PM, said:

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 07:34 PM, said:

mystic, on Aug 20 2004, 06:20 PM, said:

Hambil, on Aug 20 2004, 11:44 AM, said:


I have to disagree. GW put on a flight suit and landed on an Aircraft carrier to declare we'd won the war.
Just to reiterate... again. A flight suit is sorta necessary when in the cockpit of an S3 Viking dontcha' think?

mystic
S3 Viking's are normally used for transport of the personel?
An S-3 Viking is a submarine chaser that has been converted into a strike aircraft. Typically cargo and personel would be transported in a C-2  Greyhound. The Greyhound has no ejection seats.  *IF* a C-2 Greyhound experienced trouble, the president would be in a wee spot of trouble. The S-3 Viking has ejection seats and could get the president and the crew clear of the crashing aircraft. The S-3 was selected for safety reasons. :)

If Bush was really looking to grandstand he would've landed in the backseat of a Hornet or a Tomcat. The reason the S-3 was picked is because it is a large aircraft more reliable then a fighter but still equiped with ejection seats. Carrier landings and operations off of carriers are never 100% safe and landings are always a controlled crash, therefore you'd want the president landing in the safest aircraft best suited for the job at hand.

And I think I've suffeciently driven the topic off of course... Oops. ;)

mystic
Flying personel in one person at a time seems... odd. Wouldn't helicopters normally be used for personel transport? Are you actually suggesting that the president just landed on the carrier the way everyone else does, and it was no big deal?

Edit: Did the press that filmed and reported on the event, fly in one by one on S-3s?

Edited by Hambil, 20 August 2004 - 08:52 PM.




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