His Teeth Weren’t AWOL, Either

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen dental records used in quite this way before.

Update: WaPo has more: 1973 Document Puts Bush on Guard Base

The White House last night released a document showing that President Bush was at a military base in Alabama during the last year of his National Guard service, but aides backed away from his weekend pledge to release all his military records.

Bush’s staff provided copies of a one-page record of a dental exam, complete with drawings of Bush’s teeth, that showed he was at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Ala., on Jan. 6, 1973.

The document is the first definitive evidence that Bush showed up at a base of the Alabama National Guard during a period of about a year, from May 1972 to May 1973, for which it was unclear how the president had fulfilled his military service. Earlier this week, the White House released records showing Bush had been paid for days of service during that period, including the date of the dental exam. But the records did not say where Bush had been.

The White House released the records this week in an effort to end a controversy that has put White House aides on the defensive amid Democratic accusations that Bush shirked his duty. Administration officials declined yesterday to commit to releasing further records, despite a statement Sunday by Bush on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would open his entire military file.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. SwampWoman says:

    Well, dang, that does it now. If I’d have KNOWN that I had to resurrect 30-year old dental records in order to run for the presidency, I’d have been way more careful to keep track of them in the past. As it is, I couldn’t tell you the name of the dentist that yanked out my wisdom tooth 15 years ago except to mention that he was possibly the best-lookin’ man I’ve ever seen,if that would help any reporters locate him. I don’t keep old pay stubs around, either, particularly for 30 years. Is that why everybody is buyin’ up extra storage units and gettin’ bigger houses? Uncluttered people are just SOL, I guess.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Hell, I’d be lucky to find my pay stub from January. I presume the military archives all this crap somewhere.

  3. jen says:

    The government has a whole agency devoted to the archiving of documents. I believe it’s called the National Archives and Records Administration? 😉

  4. James Joyner says:

    Heh–do they actually keep the military records? For some reason, I thought DOD did something with them. There’s a The National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis that keeps some of them for some period of time?

  5. Rodney Dill says:

    Now if the Whitehouse could find a Drunk Driving arrest on base then Bush would be set. Even the Democratic part would then concede that he was there. 🙂

  6. jen says:

    I know that NARA has a lot of old (really old) military records. My uncle is an archivist at NARA – he’s done a lot of WWII research. I don’t know how long DOD keeps personnel files before they hand them over to NARA.