After a long illness, last week, Colonel (retired) George "Bud" Day passed away at his home in Florida, at age 88. Colonel Day's name may be unknown to many, or even to most. For American patriots, it's definitely one to remember.
In 1976, Air Force Colonel Bud Day was awarded the Medal of Honor. Shot down over North Vietnam, his arm broken in three-places, and immediately-captured, remarkably, he managed to elude his guards, and, then, evade detection for ten-days, surviving, notes his citation, on "a few berries and uncooked frogs," before his recapture. Then began his 5 ½-years as a Prisoner of War. During his captivity, in varying locations, often the ranking American officer, Colonel Day was subjected to even-more harsh torture and treatment than his fellow prisoners, leaving him with permanent injuries for a life-time. Also left with lasting-impairment, fellow long-term POW, Senator John McCain, was occasionally Colonel Day's cell-mate. Said Senator McCain, reflecting on Colonel Day: "He was the bravest man I ever knew, and his fierce resistance, and resolute leadership, set the example for how to return home with honor." A World War II enlisted Marine in the Pacific, then an Air Force pilot in both Korea and Vietnam, Bud Day is one of the most highly-decorated military members in our nation's history. In his civilian life, Colonel Day earned a law degree, and remained a steadfast-advocate for veteran's health benefits, and other veteran's issues. We owe much to all who serve and sacrifice. We owe even more, to courageous and bold, life-long American patriots, like Colonel Bud Day.