On Saturday we lost an American hero. Colonel Bud Day died at the age of 88 at his home surrounded by his family. Day, a retired Air Force Colonel, was a Medal of Honor recipient, received more than 70 medals and served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. His aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam on August 26, 1967. After days of evasion, Day was captured by Viet Cong and taken to the infamous Hanoi Hilton where he was a POW for 5 ½ years.
Day was known for calling it like it is and was a natural leader who cared deeply about others. U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has attributed Day with saving his life while they were POW’s together during Vietnam. He issued the following statement after hearing the news about his friend:
“Today brings the sad news that my dear friend and comrade, Colonel George E. ‘Bud’ Day, USAF (Ret.) has passed away. I owe my life to Bud, and much of what I know about character and patriotism. He was the bravest man I ever knew, and his fierce resistance and resolute leadership set the example for us in prison of how to return home with honor. I will have much more to say about Bud’s courage, kindness and sense of honor and duty this week. For now, I want to draw Americans’ attention to the passing of this good man and great patriot, and to extend my deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Bud’s wife, Dorie and his children. I will miss him terribly.”
Day was an inspiration and role model to many. The work he did for veterans was selfless and made an impact in many of their lives. Bud Day’s service to our nation was remarkable and we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude for all they have sacrificed. Colonel Day will be missed. Rest In Peace.
Amber Barno is a writer and commentator and member of Concerned Veterans for America. She is a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information visit www.amberbarno.com and follow her on Twitter: @AmberBarno