Two Veterans Support Bush

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Election 2004Leave a Comment

In the latest meme polluting a site I often contribute to, we read this:

Veterans Like Bush

Or, well, at least he got two endorsements from major veterans groups, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Except, well, that’s not true.

Instead, if you actually come across the news story (tellingly, the prior post has no link), it says this:

George W. Bush picked up the endorsement of two veterans’ group leaders Wednesday as questions about his service in the Texas Air National Guard resurfaced.

During a conference call sponsored by the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign, former American Legion National Commander John Brieden and the former national leader of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ed Banas, gave Bush high marks for his commitment to veterans and to increasing U.S. national security.

(emphases mine)

So . . . here’s the story: the FORMER leader of the American Legion and the FORMER leader of the VFW — two guys total — endorsed Bush.

Not only did the VFW not endorse Bush, but the VFW can’t endorse Bush. Read this from the VFW’s own website:

VFW Doesn’t Endorse Presidential Candidates Washington, D.C., Aug. 27, 2004—Recent appearances in the news media by a number of members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States have given an impression that the organization endorses one presidential candidate over another.

"This is a false impression," said John Furgess, a Nashville native who was elected August 20 as the new commander-in-chief of the nation’s largest organization of combat veterans. "We are a 501(c)(19) nonprofit veterans’ service organization that is prohibited from endorsing political candidates," he said. "We do, however, encourage all 2.4 million members of the VFW and our Ladies Auxiliary to get involved in their communities and to vote for the candidates of choice. That involvement permits the wearing of VFW caps to remind America and all politicians that the freedoms we enjoy today were won by the blood, sweat and sacrifice of military veterans."

I don’t know if the American Legion is the same way, but I think the point is made, and the lie exposed. The VFW and the American Legion did not endorse Bush.