Colonel Bud Day Has Died

Medal of Honor Winner and our Panhandle’s own.

MIAMI (AP) – Retired Col. George “Bud” Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent 5½ years as a POW in Vietnam and was Arizona Sen. John McCain’s cellmate, has died at the age of 88, his widow said Sunday.

Day, one of the nation’s most highly decorated servicemen since Gen. Douglas MacArthur and later a tireless advocate for veterans’ rights, died Saturday surrounded by family at his home in Shalimar, after a long illness, Doris Day said.

…He was an enlisted Marine serving in the Pacific during World War II and an Air Force pilot in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In Vietnam, he was McCain’s cellmate at one camp known as the Plantation and later in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he was often the highest-ranking captive. During his imprisonment, the once-muscular, 5-foot-9 Day was hung by his arms for days, tearing them from their sockets. He was freed in 1973 – a skeletal figure of the once dashing fighter pilot. His hands and arms never functioned properly again.

My memories of him are ALL Veterans For McCain campaign related, which is where I was privileged to have met and worked with him. I wrote about his effect on the crowd here, in my report on the banner day Sarah Palin came to Pensacuda

He was one helluvan opening act.

What magnificent American we’ve lost.

As awful as it sounds, no one could say we did not do well. (Being a POW) was a major issue in my life and one that I am extremely proud of. I was just living day to day,” he said in a 2008 interview with The Associated Press. “One really bad cold and I would have been dead.

What a MAN.

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