SELECTION 2004

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 6:36 PM PST

Bush's Numbers Climbing Among Vietnam Reservists

by Brent the Johnson,
NA!P NewsWire

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 Vietnam War.

Thousands 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 so wrong."

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 before.

"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 you."

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