[Homestead] In the interest of political commentary balance

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Sat Sep 25 14:03:45 EDT 2004

The Bush damage to environment, economy, energy and transfer of tax load 
from rich to middle class, poor, and our grandchildren is 
incontrovertible, as is mismanagement of the Iraq war..

The Bush military record is open to interpretation---here's a guy who 
may be telling the truth---haven't looked into what his political 
background is.

  Man who swore Bush into Air Guard speaks out

by Lance Coleman
of The Daily Times Staff

Ed Morrisey Jr. has his opinion about rumors President Bush received 
preferential treatment when he was allowed into the Texas Air National 
Guard in the late 1960s.

The Blount Countian also has firsthand knowledge.

The 75-year-old Jackson Hills resident is a retired colonel with Texas 
Air National Guard. He swore Lt. George W. Bush into the service in May 

On Thursday, Morrisey said the argument that Bush got off easy by being 
in the National Guard doesn't take into consideration the context of the 

``Bush and the others were flying several flights day or night over the 
Gulf of Mexico to identify the unknown,'' he said. ``The Cold War was a 
nervous time. You never knew. There were other things going on equally 
important to the country, and the Air National Guard had a primary role 
in it.''

Morrisey said the commander he worked for at the unit in Texas was sent 
there to rebuild the image of the unit. There were only two to four 
pilot training slots given to them per year, he said. Individuals 
questioned by an evaluation board and then chosen by the commander had 
to be the best.

``Bush was selected and he turned out just fine,'' he said.

According to Morrisey, after Bush began working as a fighter pilot, he 
became regarded as one of the best pilots there. Unit commander Col. 
Maurice Udell considered Bush to be one of his top five pilots, Morrisey 

``The kid did good,'' he said.

Each pilot had to perform alert duty where they patrolled for 
unidentified aircraft during the threat of the Cold War, Morrisey said.

``Bush Jr. did good for us,'' Morrisey said. ``He pulled alert and he 
did it all.''

Morrisey said that while Bush didn't get preferential treatment, not 
everyone was allowed into the National Guard.

``We wanted the best we could get. We never knowingly took an unworthy 
individual in the units I belonged to,'' he said. ``You're only as good 
your worst individual.''

This isn't the first time a reporter called Morrisey asking whether or 
not Bush received preferential treatment. Shortly after Republicans 
nominated Bush for president in 2000, a reporter from Texas called Morrisey.

``That floored me. The only people that got preferential treatment was 
when Jimmy Carter pardoned those guys that went to Canada,'' he said of 
individuals who fled to Canada to avoid the draft during the war in Vietnam.

Speaking of the controversy surrounding Bush's Guard service during the 
Vietnam era, Morrisey said: ``I think it's tragic. I think real people 
can filter through this. At least I hope so.''

Morrisey said he agreed with Bush's work as president and supported the 
administration's aggressive stance toward fighting terrorism and the war 
in Afghanistan and Iraq.

``We've got to eliminate terrorists,'' he said. ``Let's get them where 
they're living instead of them getting my grandkids and great-grandkids 

Morrisey worked as the executive officer of the 147th Fighter Group from 
February of 1967 to July of 1968. From Texas he came to Alcoa where he 
was the first commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at 
McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. He also was ``dedicated to the 
development'' of the Air National Guard Leadership School and the 
Officer Preparatory Academy to commission Air Guard officers.

He was commandant for all three schools and became the first commander 
of the I.G. Brown Professional Military Education Center.

Morrisey has been involved in the community, including being a former 
member of the Blount Chamber of Commerce, president of the Maryville 
Kiwanis Club, Blount County Boys Club board member and on the ALCOA 
Scholarship Selection Committee.

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