Yeoman of the Guard
AWOL? Probably not. A draft dodger? No question.
Updated Thursday, Feb. 12, 2004, at 5:25 PM
Correction, Feb. 12, 2004: An earlier version of this column questioned the accuracy of this claim, given that Nov. 11 was Veterans Day, which is always celebrated on that specific date (in tribute to the 1918 Armistice, which the holiday originally commemorated). "National Guard units never drill on Veterans Day," Chatterbox noted.
But from 1971 through 1977, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday in October. The states objected, and it was moved back to Nov. 11 starting in 1978. Consequently, Nov. 11, 1972, wouldn't have been celebrated as Veterans Day at whatever National Guard base Bush was on that day, and drills would have proceeded as usual. ( Return to corrected item.)
Correction, Feb. 16, 2004: The article originally misspelled the first name of the Senate candidate for whom George W. Bush worked in Alabama. His name is Winton, not Winston, Blount. (Return to the corrected item.)
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.
Photograph of President Bush as an Air National Guard fighter pilot from Agence France-Presse.