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Eric C.
Former Republican VA 7
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    Honoring Congressman Sam Johnson on 40Th Anniversary of Release from Prisoner of War Camp

    by Former Representative Eric Cantor

    Posted on 2013-02-25

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    CANTOR. I thank the gentleman from Texas.

    Mr. Speaker, we are here tonight to honor and celebrate our friend, Sam Johnson, the gentleman from Texas that we all know as a friend and colleague, but that I think America knows as a hero.

    Sam, as the gentleman from Texas points out, was awarded two Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts, among his many other decorations, for fighting bravely for freedom, and for 7 years Sam Johnson was held as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese--the horror of which none of us will ever know [[Page H610]] but lies deep within the soul of this great American patriot.

    {time} 1930 Indeed, Mr. Speaker, the 40th anniversary of his freedom is reason for celebration and is the reason we are gathered here in the Chamber tonight. Sam's heroism and bravery are acts for which all Americans owe him a debt of gratitude.

    But I'd also like to talk about our friend, Sam. Mr. Speaker, it's no exaggeration when I say I believe that Sam Johnson is the moral compass of our conference. He considers every issue fairly, and he's never afraid to reach across the aisle and work with Members there or on our side of the aisle or with freshman Members, as he did with me when I first came to Congress in 2001.

    As many of us know, Sam and Shirley Johnson recently lost their son, Bob. All of us would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the Johnsons for their loss. Over these past weeks, we all saw anew the grace and humility that Sam carries with him every day.

    Mr. Speaker, that's Sam. America and his beloved Texas are better places because of his decades-long service. And my life, Mr. Speaker, has been immeasurably enriched by our friendship.

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