Last Spring, when allegations surfaced that George W. Bush had
an irregular attendance record in the National Guard during the
Vietnam War, Marty Heldt got curious. Now, thanks to this Iowa
farmer's diligent research, the facts are in. Bush missed an entire
year of service.
In his report on TomPaine.com, Heldt explains how, after Bush's request for a transfer from the Texas Air National Guard to Montgomery, Alabama was denied, he failed to report for duty from May 1, 1972 until April 30, 1973. During that time Bush worked on the campaign of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Winton Blount.
Heldt lambastes Bush for making military readiness a centerpiece of his campaign when his own lack of regular attendance 'goes against the basic concept of a National Guard kept strong by citizen soldiers who maintain their skills through regular training.'
Heldt says many in the military are bitter about Bush's service record. He quotes one military source: '[F]or the several hundred thousand dollars we tax payers spent on getting [Bush] trained as a fighter jock, he repaid us with sixty-eight days of active duty. And God only knows if and when he ever flew on those days. I've spent more time cleaning up latrines than he did flying.' -- Leif Utne