Friday, February 13, 2004


I don't think you'll hear much from Kerry's crowd on this one since a member of the unit Bush flew in has come forward to trash the "Bush didn't show up for duty" meme.

I spent three years on active duty in the Air Force and three years in the Air National Guard and Reserves. I can honestly tell you that I didn't make every meeting (one weekend a month), sometimes due to business issues. And I rarely spent the entire two week summer session that's part of the "duty". Why? In that timeframe, Guard and Reserve units were massively overstaffed and there just wasn't enough work to occupy an 8-hour day, so many of us were told, just go home. And most of us had spent at least a couple of years on active duty, so we were much more highly trained than the typical "weekend warrior", so we did not have to particpate in much of the training that was supposed to be part of the weekend/summer obligation.

I remember one summer session when we all reported on a Saturday morning and were told half of us would stay the first week of the two-week session, and the other half could go home and come back a week later. Sure, we all got paid for two weeks, but we were only there for one. Was it a waste of taxpayer dollars? Sure.

So I can easily see how Bush did his Air Guard thing and few people remember seeing him. I can't remember the name of one person I served with in the Guard or Reserves, but I remember many I served with on active duty. When you're on active duty, you live with people -- you're "family". In the Guard or Reserves, you just work with them. It's a very different experience.


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