Friday, February 13, 2004

George W(ho)?

Via Hesiod over at Counterspin Central, comes this story from the Memphis Flyer. Seems that two pilots from the Alabama Air National Guard unit that aWol supposedly served in while away from his Texas unit don't remember him.

This story confirms a lot of things I've been saying in comment threads on multiple blogs: pilots are a very small part of aviation units - numbers-wise. And they hang out together, drink together; there's a lot of truth behind the bar scenes in "Top Gun." None of these two pilots remembers anyone showing up from out of state. One of them remembers looking for him:

Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: “I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with.” But, says Mintz, that “somebody” -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

“And I was looking for him,” repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush “changed his mind and went somewhere else” to do his substitute drill. It was not “somewhere else,” however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit – the reason being Bush’s wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount.

Bold emphasis is mine.
He never showed up.

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