by Scoobie Davis
You Gotta Read The Whole Thing
The primer on George W. Bush and the Air National Guard. Excerpts:
What is also already known is that in the spring of 1972, with 770 days left of required duty, Bush unilaterally decided that he was done fulfilling his military obligation. Also in the spring of 1972, Bush refused to take a physical and quickly cleared out of his Guard base in Houston, heading off to work on the Senate campaign of Winton "Red" Blount in Alabama. Referring to that period, one of Bush's Guard flying buddies remarked to USA Today in 2002, "It was an irrational time in his life."
It may have been an irrational time for him, but Bush managed to focus intently on not serving in the Guard in any significant capacity again. His public records paint a portrait of a Guardsman who, with the cooperation of his Texas Air National Guard superiors, simply flouted regulation after regulation (more than 30 by Salon's count) indifferent to his signed obligation to serve.
The details can get a bit obscure, but the basic timeline of Bush's service between 1972 and 1974 is easy to follow: In spring 1972 Bush attempted to permanently transfer to a non-flying Alabama Guard unit. During the second half of 1972 he missed many of his required weekend training drills. At the end of the year he returned to Houston. Bush then had to make up the absences he had stacked up while in Alabama through "substitute service" training in 1972 and 1973. In July 1973, Bush asked to be released by the Texas Air National Guard so he could attend Harvard Business School. In September, the Guard let him go, and the Air Force officially dismissed Bush in November 1974
On July 30, 1973, Bush, preparing to attend Harvard Business School, signed a statement acknowledging it was his responsibility to find another unit in which to serve out the remaining nine months of his commitment. But Bush never contacted another unit in Massachusetts in which to fulfill his obligation.
The whole article is incredible.