(Guard) Service With A Smile

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By: Dave Astor

Nobody won the $10,000 “Doonesbury” contest asking people to prove George W. Bush served in the Alabama National Guard, but here was plenty of entertaining material sent in by the 1,600-plus entrants.

The third runner-up, for instance, wrote: “I am an employee of the Nigerian government Toastmaster’s Club. I am in hiding while rebels loot my country. In 1972 I was a colonel in the Alabama Air National Guard and flew many aircrafts. I was Bush’s wingman. I was with him for his dental exams. I warned him against medical physical exams. You must keep this in strictest confidence. … “

A Florida reader wrote: “I was a Lance snack foods deliveryman in a previous life. … Bush was always trying to score Cheetos or Sticky Buns off me. One time, in September, 1972, I was filling the machine by the canteen and up comes Bush, and I could swear he wanted a fight. He says ‘You think you’re great, but you’re nobody! The best prime minister England ever had was Lord Palmerton!’ and then he shoved me in the shoulder. I didn’t care for his attitude, and his assessment of British politics riled me no end, so we argued back and forth. ‘Pitt the elder!’ I yelled. ‘Lord Palmerton!’ … Lord Palmerton … really. Sheesh. “

From a California reader: “I served at Dannelly, and I saw Mr. Bush, or specifically part of him, on numerous occasions between May and November of 1972. In late May or very early June I saw a portion of his left ear. In July, on two separate weekends, I saw his lower jaw and the side of his knee, and one of his buttocks was in front of me in line at the PX on the weekend of the 29th. I saw one of his arms sometime in the fall. I hope these recollections secure the president’s good name, and help prove he served, if piecemeal, during that dangerous time. “

A South Carolina reader wrote: “My mom was born in Alabama, and before she died she told me that her former next door neighbor knew a guy whose cousin dated a girl who worked at the phone company whose supervisor had a sister who dated a guy whose brother went to the University of Alabama, and his R.O.T.C. instructor told this guy’s brother that George W. Bush served in the National Guard in Alabama. “

There were more serious entries, too, such as this one from California: “If you look in George W. Bush’s autobiography, he has a complete chapter on his duties in the Texas Air National Guard, with many photos. Strangely, there is no mention of the Alabama National Guard. And it’s not in the index either. “

And this one from Missouri: “Enlistment contracts at the time required the applicant to swear in writing that they had never used illegal drugs. If he signed such a document, Bush’s entire military enlistment contact is a fraud, and he is guilty of false enlistment. Bush has admitted he used drugs. And you can be sure he did inhale. Now I’m probably going to be on some attorney general’s list, but what the hell.”

“Doonesbury” is by Garry Trudeau of Universal Press Syndicate.

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