Quote Of The Day
“I must say, I’m a little envious.[…] If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”
– President Bush, talking to soldiers in Afghanistan on a video conference call yesterday
Coming from a different President this might actually mean something. Like Bush’s father, who was an actual war hero in WWII.
But it has been well documented that the younger Bush purposefully avoided service in Vietnam for a position stateside…
Two weeks before he was to graduate from Yale, George Walker Bush stepped into the offices of the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field outside Houston and announced that he wanted to sign up for pilot training.
It was May 27, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. Bush was 12 days away from losing his student deferment from the draft at a time when Americans were dying in combat at the rate of 350 a week. The unit Bush wanted to join offered him the chance to fulfill his military commitment at a base in Texas. It was seen as an escape route from Vietnam by many men his age, and usually had a long waiting list.
Bush had scored only 25 percent on a “pilot aptitude” test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commanders of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics.
Bush was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied. His commander, Col. Walter B. “Buck” Staudt, was apparently so pleased to have a VIP’s son in his unit that he later staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken administering the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn Bush in.
Later, when Bush was commissioned a second lieutenant by another subordinate, Staudt again staged a special ceremony for the cameras, this time with Bush’s father the congressman â€“ a supporter of the Vietnam War â€“ standing proudly in the background.
Long story short, when he was younger he did have a choice and he chose not to experience the front lines.