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Bush never completed five months of National Guard service
by John Byrne
The Blue Lemur
July 28, 2004

Instead of dispelling claims that President George W. Bush was absent without leave (AWOL), a close inspection of the payroll records released by the White House actually show that the President never completed five months of missed Air Force National Guard service in 1972 and 1973, RAW STORY can reveal. The research, conducted by Paul Lukasiak, surrounds two pages in Bush's payroll records from the second quarter of the calendar year 1973. Irrespective of the "points system" mentioned by Bush advisers, it appears to prove that the President did not meet basic requirements for "satisfactory service." The following set of images displays the credits Bush earned for Guard service in 1972. Each four-hour block of service is worth 4 credits - which each guardsmen is expected to accrue each month. In 1972, however, Bush did not show up for service between April 16 and October 28. In May 1972, Bush moved to Alabama to work on a political campaign and, he has said, to perform his Guard service there for a year. But other Guard officers have said they have no recollection of ever seeing him there. More importantly, there is no evidence that he made up his service for that period in Alabama - or anywhere else. Rather, the very documents released by the White House intending to quell absent without leave (AWOL charges) show that he never made up any of these sessions. Here's Bush's paycard for 1972. Click to see it enlarged. Just below, the date and credit portions are highlighted. On his 1972 paycard, Bush received no credit between May and December 1972.

In June of 1973, another payroll record was issued. It showed that Bush had made up his October, November and December trainings in October and November (they were not credited to him in 1972 because he was not paid until January 1973). It also showed that he did make up a period in February and March of 1973 by doing 12 credits - all of them in January. However, the "Alabama period" was still not complete. A five month gap remains in Bush's service record to this day.

Was he absent without leave? It appears so. Regardless, even a month of missed duty should have mandated that he spend 115 days on active duty, which never occurred. Some suggest that Bush could have served this five months at a later point, which he did not do. In fact, Bush's last day of active service was July 30, 1973 - just five years and three months into his service requirement of six years, which he apparently eluded as well. Bush was officially discharged a year later, Oct. 1, 1974 - but he did not do any service after July 1973. But even if he had completed his service at a later date, he would still have breached Air Force code, and been required to serve time on active duty. Given the time missed and never made up, he could not possibly have completed his service requirement under the law.


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