February 10, 2004
Where were you in 1972?

Diana Moon suggests an interesting question for President Bush regarding his National Guard service:

"Mister President, can you give us the names of three National Guard Service colleagues who served with you between May 1972 and October 1973?"

Via Seeing the Forest. For the record, in 1972-73 I was in first grade. The following people could testify to my attendance at Sacred Heart Elementary School: Eric Wright, Carolyn Morrison, Helen Shea, Steven Baldassare, John McGinley, and Geraldine Cunningham, plus Sister Evangeline, my teacher. Over to you, Mister President.

Or maybe not.

[Documents released today] indicate Bush received pay for six days of duty between May and December of 1972 when he was supposed to be on temporary duty in Alabama. There is a five-month stretch in 1972 when he was not paid for service. The records do not indicate what duty Bush performed or where he was.

The White House also has not been able to produce fellow guardsmen who could testify that Bush attended guard meetings and drills. "Obviously we would have made people available" if they had been found, McClellan said.


Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 10, 2004 to Iraq attack | TrackBack

[Documents released today] indicate Bush received pay for six days of duty between May and December of 1972

I don't think your comparison to your elementary school class is a very good one. Presumably, you attended school for more than six days. Furthermore, I suspect that your classmates continued to be your classmates for a much longer time than one year.

Do you really think your comparison is a good one?

Posted by: Greg V on February 10, 2004 6:23 PM

Wasn't he supposed to be there for more than six days? And don't you think at least one person might recall being there with someone who turned out to be a future President?

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on February 10, 2004 6:39 PM

I can still recall names of people I was in the Navy with in 1972-1973, and none of them have been elected President. For that matter, none of them have made it into Google (I've tried).

If you haven't been over to Kevin Drum's place today, there's a firestorm going on in his comments about the records. Scroll if it's not the top post.

Posted by: Linkmeister on February 10, 2004 7:47 PM

I was active in 70-71 and active reserve 72-78.
Only two units in the reserves so I didn't bounce around.

I can tell you the names of exactly zero people I served with. He could easily say the same which proves nothing.

Go for the people who knew him. The young party-animal son of a US rep would be remembered.

Posted by: Charles M on February 10, 2004 10:28 PM

Wasn't he supposed to be there for more than six days?

The evidence suggests to me that he was not required to serve more than 6 days. After all, he got an honorable discharge.

And don't you think at least one person might recall being there with someone who turned out to be a future President?

I am confident that none of Lt. Bush's fellow guardsmen knew at the time that a comrade would become a future president. It doesn't seem unreasonable that Alabama guardsmen had little interest in meeting a visiting Texas guardsmen who they knew would be temporarily stationed with them.

For the record, I can't recall the name of some of the temp workers in my office from last year! Many of them served more than 6 days. And think! One of those temps may become president in 2028.

Critics of the president need no evidence for the claims of "AWOL". When the president brings forth documents indicating he was paid for service, this evidence is dismissed. The charges against the president require intellectual dishonesty. No evidence necessary -- evidence to the contrary dismissed.

Posted by: Greg V. on February 11, 2004 10:55 AM

And what sort of intellectual dishonesty are you talking about, GregV?

Can't wait to be lectured about this subject by a Bush-booster! After all, what could be more honest than using your Daddy's name and influence to get yourself out of serving in Vietnam by obtaining a cushy spot in a never-to-be-called-up Guard unit? And then doing a spotty job of even that lightest of duties?

Posted by: DocG on February 11, 2004 12:42 PM


Joe LeFevers, a member of the 187th in 1972, said he remembers seeing Bush in unit offices and being told that Bush was in Montgomery to work on Blount's campaign.

"I was going in the orderly room over there one day, and they said, `This is Lt. Bush,'" LeFevers said Tuesday. "They pointed him out to me ... the reason I remember it is because I associate him with Red Blount."

I post this for archival sake. Not that I believe any of the intellectually dishonest critics will care.

Posted by: Greg V. on February 12, 2004 4:09 PM


A Republican close to Bush supplied phone numbers yesterday for the owner of an insulated-coating business in the Atlanta area, John B. "Bill" Calhoun, 69, who was an officer with the Alabama Air National Guard. Calhoun said in a telephone interview that Bush used to sit in his office and read magazines and flight manuals as he performed weekend duty at Dannelly Field in Montgomery during 1972.

Calhoun estimated that he saw Bush sign in at the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group eight to 10 times for about eight hours each from May to October 1972. He said the two occasionally grabbed a sandwich in the snack bar.

Frankly, I'm surprised that even two people remember Lt. Bush serve in Alabama. Of course, if you're intellectually dishonest, the documentation and witness testimony won't mean anything to you.

Posted by: Greg V. on February 13, 2004 11:58 AM


The military doctor says that Lt. Col. John "Bill" Calhoun brought Bush by his office for an exam, Noble Anderson said.

James Anderson could not remember which month he saw Bush, only that it was some time in 1972, his son said.

Bush mentioned that he was from Texas "and I think that's one of the reasons it stuck out in his mind," Noble Anderson said.

Time to move the goalposts, Kuff.

Posted by: Greg V. on February 15, 2004 4:13 PM

I would like for anyone who served in Vietnam in the US army between 1971-1972 to contact me about the experience of being there during vietnamization. I'm writing a play about my first love who was in Vietnam during that period. I want to know what the experience was like for him. Thank you.

Posted by: a. mccray on November 5, 2005 7:25 PM