posted on Feb, 18 2004 @ 12:12 PM
Not being there does not mean AWOL. It means he wasn't there.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. George W. Bush got a transfer while in the Texas Air National Guard to work on a U.S. Senate campaign for six months in
Alabama and later left the Guard early to attend Harvard Business School, according to his records.
Traveling on his campaign plane to Ohio Tuesday, Bush said he had fulfilled his Guard duties at irregular intervals. He defended his overall record.
''I served my full obligation with the Texas National Guard. That's why I was honorably discharged,'' Bush said.
His early discharge was not uncommon for pilots or other crewmen who were to leave soon and had been trained on now-obsolete jets, as was Bush's
case, said Albert Lloyd Jr., who was personnel director for the Texas Air National Guard from 1969 to 1995 and who reviewed Bush's military records
at the request of his campaign.
Bush, the Republican presidential contender, served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard from May 1968 to October 1973, primarily flying the
F-102 Delta Dagger, an aging fighter-interceptor, based at Ellington Air Force Base near Houston.
In May 1972, Bush asked for and received permission to continue his duties in Alabama while he worked as political director on the Senate campaign of
Winton M. Blount, a friend of his father.
It was not the first time Bush had left the Guard for political duties. In November 1968, right after basic training, he worked as a low-level aide
for Edward Gurney in his campaign for a Senate seat from Florida, according to a pair of recent biographies of Bush.
Lloyd said the Guard often granted the pilots and crews of obsolete jets the chance to leave active duty early.
''He was not singled out and given privileged treatment because there were other pilots that were treated the same way,'' Lloyd said.
Is this simply NOT possible? I think it could be, but then again I don't know.