Col. Buck Staudt goes public -- Lt. George W. Bush did NOT receive preferential treatment
ABC News: Speaking Out -- Air National Guard Colonel Denies Bush Got Preferential TreatmentGame, set, match, Danny boy, and it ain't lookin' too good for your "war hero" either.
Sept. 17, 2004 — The man cited in media reports as having allegedly pressured others in the Texas Air National Guard to help George W. Bush is speaking out, telling ABC News in an exclusive interview that he never sought special treatment for Bush.
Retired Col. Walter ["Buck"] Staudt, who was brigadier general of Bush's unit in Texas, interviewed Bush for the Guard position and retired in March 1972. He was mentioned in one of the memos allegedly written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian as having pressured Killian to assist Bush, though Bush supposedly was not meeting Guard standards.
"I never pressured anybody about George Bush because I had no reason to," ...
Staudt insisted Bush did not use connections to avoid being sent to Vietnam.
"He didn't use political influence to get into the Air National Guard," Staudt said, ...
During his time in charge of the unit, Staudt decided whether to accept those who applied for pilot training. He recalled Bush as a standout candidate.
"He was highly qualified," he said. "He passed all the scrutiny and tests he was given."
Staudt said he never tried to influence Killian or other Guardsmen, and added that he never came under any pressure himself to accept Bush. "No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard," he said. "It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."
When he interviewed for the job, Bush was eager to join the pilot program, which Staudt said often was a hard sell. "I asked him, 'Why do you want to be a fighter pilot?' " Staudt recalled. "He said, 'Because my daddy was one.' He was a well-educated, bright-eyed young man, just the kind of guy we were looking for."