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Bud Day
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Military Personnel
    (February 24, 1925-July 27, 2013)
    Born in Sioux City, Iowa
    Birth name was George Everett Day
    Joined the US Marine Corps during World War II
    After WWII joined the Army Reserve and Iowa Air National Guard
    Served as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean War
    Transfered to the US Air Force
    During the Vietnam War was first commander of Detachment 1 of the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron
    Shot down over North Vietnam by anti-aircraft fire (August 26, 1967)
    Spent five and a half years as a POW (1967-73)
    Shared a cell with John McCain
    Received the Congressional Medal of Honor (1976)
    He said of John Kerry, 'My view is he basically will go down in history as the Benedict Arnold of 1971.'
    He claimed, 'The Muslims have said either we kneel or they're going to kill us.'
    While campaigning for Charlie Crist for Senate, he called Marco Rubio 'a Hispanic who can run his mouth at Mach 1.'
    He endorsed waterboarding despite knowing from personal experience the limited effectiveness in using torture to get information.
    He and Doris Sorensen were married for 64 years until his death.
    He and Doris adopted four children.
    He earned 70 medals in three wars, making him one of the all-time most decorated US soldiers.
    He survived ejecting from a burning jet despite his parachute failing to deploy when he landed amid pine trees that helped break his fall (1957).
    Despite having broken his arm in three places and having back and eye injuries, he was able to escape from his North Vietnamese captors (August 31, 1967).
    He managed to travel south 20 miles, surviving by eating berries and live frogs, before crossing the DMZ, becoming the only US POW to escape back into South Vietnam.
    He was recaptured by a Viet Cong patrol that shot him in the leg and hand.
    He was repeatedly tortured, such as being hung from his arms for days until they tore from their sockets.
    He gave his captors false information when they interrogated him.
    He was instrumental in devising a clandestine communication system used by the POWs in his camp.
    He was an advocate for veterans, most notably getting Congress to reverse a decision stripping military retirees of medical care benefits after age 65.
    John McCain said, '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.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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