Bush's military payroll records
George W. Bush in an undated photograph from his time in the Texas Air National Guard
Facing election-year questions about the president’s military service, the White House has released records it said demonstrate that President Bush fulfilled his obligations to the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.
At issue is whether Bush reported for duty in Alabama during parts of 1972 and 1973. The White House said the documents prove the president met his requirements because they indicate he accrued the required number of service points and was paid for his service. However, the records do not indicate where Bush served or the nature of his duties.
The president’s military service has been a point of debate since the 2000 election campaign when The Boston Globe uncovered a 1973 evaluation by Bush’s commander stating that the then-first lieutenant had not been seen during the previous year. The issue resurfaced during the 2004 campaign when Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe suggested Bush went absent without leave, or AWOL, while in Alabama.
The release of the records comes amid the buildup to an election year that may pit Bush against Democratic front-runner Sen. John Kerry, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War.
Click through the gallery to view some of the documents.