George W. has a dubious sense of duty

By Martin Heldt

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July 6, 2000�It has been more than two hundred years since the Minutemen pledged themselves ready to fight for freedom at one minute�s notice.

It was more than just a pledge, these men drilled, marched, and trained�often twice each week�in order that they would be ready when their call came.

Today�s National Guard encompasses those same ideals of a citizen militia kept ready to leap to our nation�s call by regular drilling. To meet those standards our modern day Minutemen pledge to fulfill the obligations of drill and training.

Those were the obligations that George W. Bush shouldered when he took the oath. He was obligated to drill for 36 days each year�two days per month, plus two weeks at camp each summer.

G.W. Bush did not take those obligations seriously.

By his own sorry admission his attendance "was spotty" and he "can't remember what" he was doing for a whole year though he " thinks it was desk work."

His attendance was so "spotty" that he disappears from the service records after April 18, after having drilled on only seven days in 1972. That left him short of fulfilling his obligations to the service for 1972 by 29 days. After the Guard caught him in May 1973,Bush put in his first days in a year.

Bush then logged 32 days before his 8-month early release to attend Harvard Business School in October of 1973. But those 32 days were only sufficient to cover the missing time in the spring of 1973 and the regular service required of him for 1973�left unfulfilled were the 28 days of duty owed by Bush to the Guard from the 8 missing months in 1972.

Bush says he "fulfilled my obligations," to the Guard. He states that he "made up some missed weekends." But Bush's admission that he doesn't even know what he was doing for a good portion of his time in the Guard is evidence that he failed the Minutemen's creed to be ready when called upon�like those patriots who rushed to stand at Concord Bridge and Lexington.

Was it so long ago that we no longer care?

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