16, 6:36 PM PST
Bush's Numbers Climbing Among Vietnam
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Despite George W. Bush's slumping popularity,
in free fall as the public becomes more and more aware of his
problematic military career, his poll numbers are rising among
one group of voters: Former reservists who served during the
of aging weekend warriors are embracing Bush, who is fending
off criticism that he avoided combat by enlisting in the Air
Texas National Guard. His probable opponent, John Kerry, was
saving his comrades' lives during live combat at the same time.
Needless to say, Kerry's heroism
on the field of battle has not endeared him to Vietnam reservists.
"I'm sick of people saying
I was too chicken shit to go to Vietnam," stated Harvey
Willand of Houston, who began in the Texas National Guard upon
turning 18 in 1968. "And I'm sick of the way how John Kerry
kinda accuses me of being chicken shit every time I look at him."
"I'll tell you what, you
spend an entire weekend every month huffing through
calisthenics and marching in formation and all that shit for
six years straight -- then you come back and tell me you
didn't serve your country," Willand said.
"And don't get me started
about the two weeks I had to spend in camp every year,"
Terry Hammond, who served with Willand, said. "That was
During their six-year enlistment,
Willand and Hammond shot carbines, practiced saluting in the
mirror and sometimes didn't show up because they'd had "a
couple too many" while playing pool with the boys the night
"I totally get why Bush
wasn't always on base. Hell, there were many times when I didn't
think I was going to make it," Willand said. "Pounding
cheap tequila all night was worse than if I'd been drinking untreated
Vietnamese sewage water infused with the flavor of dead people
and Agent Orange, you know?"
But when asked why he didn't
join the Army rather than the Guard, Willand answered, "Fuck
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