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Report: Bush short on Guard duty

Sept. 8, 2004 at 8:39 AM

BOSTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- President Bush failed to meet National Guard service requirements at least twice, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The newspaper charged Bush failed to sign up with a National Guard unit in the Boston area when he moved from Houston in 1973 to attend Harvard Business School. The Globe also said records indicate Bush failed to meet service requirements for a 6-month period in 1972 and a 3-month period in 1973.

Bush signed pledges to complete required duty or face being called into active duty for two years.

Retired Army Col. Gerald Lechliter, who has studied Bush's service record, told the Globe: "He broke his contract with the United States government -- without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen. He was a pilot. It cost the government $1 million to train him to fly. So he should have been held to an even higher standard."

Bush was a member of the Texas Air National Guard and flew fighter planes. The White House has consistently pointed out that Bush was honorably discharged from the National Guard, and would not have been unless the president had completed his service requirements.

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