AWOL Coward

From Holden:

Still more Bush service records are released, and with each release it becomes startlingly clear that the man was AWOL:

Months after insisting it could find no more records of President Bush’s Air National Guard service, the Defense Department has released more than two dozen pages of files, including Bush’s report card for flight training and dates of his flights.

[snip]

The records show his last flight was in April 1972, which is consistent with pay records indicating Bush had a lapse of duty between April and October of that year. Bush has said he had permission to go to Alabama in 1972 to work on an unsuccessful Republican Senate campaign. Bush skipped a required medical exam that cost him his pilot’s status in August of that year.

Bush’s 2000 campaign suggested the future president skipped his medical exam in part because the F-102A was nearly obsolete. Records show Bush’s Texas unit flew the F-102A until 1974 and used the jets as part of an air defense drill during 1972.

A six-month historical record of his 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, also turned over to the AP on Tuesday, shows some of the training Bush missed with his colleagues during that time.

It showed the unit joined a “24-hour active alert mission to safeguard against surprise attack” in the southern United States beginning on Oct. 6, 1972, a mission for which Bush was not present, according to his pay records.

Bush’s lone service in October was outside Texas, presumably with an Alabama unit he had permission to train with in September, October and November 1972.

As part of the mission, the 147th kept two F-102A jets — the same type Bush flew before he was grounded — on ready alert to be launched within five minutes’ warning.

[snip]

The newly released records do not include any from five categories of documents Bush’s commanders had been required to keep in response to the gaps in Bush’s training in 1972 and 1973. For example, National Guard commanders were required to perform an investigation whenever any pilot skipped a medical exam and forward the results up the Air Force chain of command. No such documents have surfaced.