Its a sober and reflective look at the key issues underlying the National Guard story. What makes it somewhat unique is that its written in a straight forward, matter of fact manner, minus the histrionics or self righteous denials we’ve seen on either sides of the aisle.
Here’s the ubiquitous excerpt:
“Leadership by example is a principle that’s hammered into every newly minted American military officer. Soldiers want to follow leaders they trust, and the proven way to earn that trust is by force of personal example.
In practical terms, this means doing morning physical fitness training with your soldiers, carrying the same amount of weight as them, ensuring they eat before you do, and putting their welfare before your own. Above all else, it means never asking your soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.
President Bush’s 30-year-old service record from the Air National Guard is relevant because it shows us something about his willingness to share the same hardships as the soldiers he now commands today from the White House. The issue has never been whether he was guilty of desertion or being AWOL–two slanderous charges leveled without regard for the facts. The real issue has always been the character of his service, and whether it was good enough to set the example for America’s 1.4 million citizens in uniform.”
If you want to have a better idea of why this story matters, read the entire piece.
Why the president’s record matters
Setting an example for America’s 1.4 million troops
By Phillip Carter
Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2004