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National Guard Vets Nearly Remember Bush

August 14, 2004
Satire by Phil Lebovits

Countering charges that President George W. Bush was absent from duty after he was transferred to the Alabama National Guard in 1972, the "Veterans Who Nearly Remember Bush" held their first press conference at the Motel 6 in Gadsden, Alabama.

Speaking before a gathering of supporters and curious hotel guests who came downstairs for the free coffee and muffins, VWNRB President Vern McWhorter stated emphatically that he "personally almost remembers a guy named George Bush" in his Reservist unit.

"I know it’s been well over thirty years, but my memory is quite clear that I practically met him."

Echoing that sentiment was former Reservist Ned Copperwell.

"People can denigrate the Guard and its role in Vietnam, but let me tell you something - if we'd been asked to serve in Danang or Hue, we'd have proudly answered the call. And I bet my bottom dollar that George Bush would've suited up as well... as soon as we found him."

The VWNRG was put together several weeks ago to counter the "swiftboat" veterans who appeared alongside John Kerry at the Democratic Convention and attested to his courage under fire. McWhorter says his group would like to do the same for Bush, but has yet to receive an invitation.

"I spoke with (RNC Chairman) Ed Gillespie's secretary yesterday," said McWhorter, "and she assured me that they would consider a joint appearance with the President as soon as they get a response from the 'National Guardsmen Who Saw Someone Who Looked a Lot Like George Bush,' so I guess we’ll have to wait our turn."

In Huntsville, Alabama, NGWSSWLLLGB spokesperson Chuck Lambert dismissed McWhorter’s group as "a copycat organization" that seeks nothing but publicity and a chance to capitalize on its tenuous connection to the President.

"Let there be no mistake," Lambert stated. "We're the only legitimate group out there that's certain George W. Bush almost showed up for active duty."

Meanwhile, in Decatur, Georgia, an injunction against the NGWSSWLLLGB was being filed by an outfit calling themselves "Reservists Who Saw George Bush Somewhere in Alabama, Maybe at a Denny's or a Kentucky Fried Chicken, We're Not Quite Sure."

RWSGBSAMDKFCWNQS media liaison Emily Butler said legal action was necessary "because the NGWSSWLLLGB has no verifiable documentation that shows they practically saw the President way back then."

When asked if her group had any corroborating evidence, Butler tersely replied, "Just about."

McWhorter, who served three years in the Alabama National Guard and once came under attack by a runaway dachshund while on patrol, shared his recollections with the rapt audience.

"I remember hanging out with the guys one day, we were playing some poker, and a man I'd never seen before came in and asked me where the latrine was. I can't be certain if that man was George W. Bush, but let me tell you, we definitely had a latrine!"

Chiming in with his support was former Reservist Matt Pringle.

"Say what you will about George Bush," he said as his eyes misted up, "but that man would've put his life on the line for the good old USA... if he'd shown up. If I'd been on patrol in the Mekong Delta and had fallen into the water while Charlie was spraying us with machine gun fire, I have no doubt that the President, had he been there, would've done the same as Senator Kerry. I think."

Following the press conference, McWhorter stayed on to sign copies of his new book "Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda: The George Bush I Know. Kinda."

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