[Homestead] In the interest of political commentary balance
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
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
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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