Contrast the difference in the respect of the men who risked their lives alongside Lt Geo. W. Bush, with those who skippered with John Kerry:
LT. COLONEL BENNY WHITE
Student Pilot in George W. Bush's Class 70-04
REMEMBERING GEORGE W. BUSH . . . I went to USAF Pilot Training with George W. Bush at Moody AFB in 1969. He was in the National Guard and I was a Marine. We were both serving our country. After flight school George went to Texas and flew with the Air National Guard. I went to Vietnam and flew 250 combat missions over North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I was shot at on almost every mission by missiles and anti-aircraft fire. I was serving my country and so was George Bush.
Very few people who were in the military during the Vietnam era actually went into Vietnam and fewer still were in actual combat and fewer still were digging foxholes and crawling around through the jungles with a knife in their teeth and a bandolier of ammunition wrapped around their body. No matter what job we had, we were serving our country. We weren't avoiding the draft and we didn't escape the draft to go to school in England and we weren't protesting before Congress or in the streets of our cities. We were serving our country.
AN INTERVIEW WITH LT. PAUL REPP
Adam Makos: How about the Vietnam War? The thought of the Vietnam War must have been on your minds quite a bit in ’68 and ’69?
Paul Repp: Oh, absolutely, oh, yes. Because probably 67% of our assignments were in airplanes that first you would go get qualified and checked out in the airplane, and once you were checked out, then you would be heading to Vietnam for at least a year or 100 missions, whichever came first. And George’s unit, there were some ADC, which is Air Defense Command, which he fell under, Guard units, that were sent over to Vietnam to fly. His unit did not get chosen. But there was the anticipation that everyone would go to Vietnam sooner or later.
MAJOR GENERAL CARL SCHNEIDER (Ret.)
....flying more than his share of cold war missions along the southern border of the United States. His objective was to identify bombers from the Soviet Union who probed our defenses constantly in that area. If ordered, he would have taken offense action against any invading force, a mission that he was fully qualified and capable of performing. Had a war been initiated by the USSR, he would have been in the first line of defense.
Lt. Bush would have been eager to go to Vietnam if his unit had been "Federalized" and ordered to an active combat zone (just as the guard and reserve units are now performing so well in the war in the Middle East).
BRUCE HENRY Student Pilot in George W. Bush's Class 70-04
REMEMBERING GEORGE W. BUSH:We started Undergraduate Pilot Training with 75 students and graduated 53. We flew for 1/2 the day and were in class the other 1/2 for 53 weeks. The supersonic T-38 was a challenge to fly especially during formation acrobatics and instruments. It had a roll rate of over 360 degrees/second and was very unforgiving if you got low and slow on final turn.
George was a good stick and I would guess he finished somewhere in the top 1/2 of the class but I don't know for sure. I do know that he was the 1st guy in our section to solo in the T-38. I remember that because I was the 2nd.
COLONEL THOMAS LOCKHART
George W. Bush arrived at Moody AFB, Georgia, for undergraduate pilot training (UPT) in 1968 as a member of the Texas Air National Guard. I was assigned as one of his Instructor Pilots. The atmosphere at this training base was somber and dead serious, as the student pilots were all either going to Vietnam or subject to being called up for combat duty as members of a Guard or Reserve unit.
George W. Bush put himself totally into the task of becoming the best aviator in the class. His unit flew Century Series jet fighters, which required the best pilots. There was no room for error, as these airplanes were unforgiving, and the price for a mistake was often the pilot's life. George W. Bush appeared to have that "fighter pilot attitude" from our first meeting. This attitude can best be described as: "I can handle the situation--regardless of the odds." He was extremely competitive and eager to learn every thing about his machine and the enemy's tactics. He was quick to pick up the flying skills necessary to maneuver an aircraft into a position to shoot down an enemy aircraft.