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K. C.
Republican TX 11

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  • Honoring Congressman Sam Johnson on 40Th Anniversary of Release from Prisoner of War Camp

    by Representative K. Michael Conaway

    Posted on 2013-02-25

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    CONAWAY. I thank the gentleman from Texas for setting up this evening to honor our friend and colleague, Sam Johnson.

    Sam's career and exploits have been talked about several times now, and I won't repeat those, but there are a couple of things I would like to highlight. One, not only was he an Air Force pilot, but he was also a member of the elite Thunderbirds, which is the Air Force's best of the best. That is a demonstration team that goes across this country and around the world representing the Air Force, representing our country.

    Another thing about Sam is that he had the good fortune of marrying Shirley. If you read Sam's book, ``Captive Warriors,'' one of the most poignant parts of that book is Shirley's unwavering, steadfast belief that Sam was still alive. There was a long time while Sam was in captivity that we didn't have proof of life. Shirley was being told by some very influential folks that Sam had perished, and she just flat out simply refused to believe that, throughout all of the evidence. And so for a number of years there she held that vigil, and it was rewarded, of course, by Sam's coming home some 40 years ago this week.

    I don't have a lot of heroes on this Earth. Sam Johnson is one of them. If I ever get around to writing memoirs and somebody asked me what am I the most proud of of service in this House, one of those things will be being able to say that I'm among the select and privileged group to have served with Sam Johnson. He is a warrior of the best order, and it is with the most heartfelt emotions that I can muster that I thank him for his service. If I count the years correctly, it's 29 in the Air Force, 10 years in the Texas Legislature, and some 22 years here. That's 61 years. I don't know how old Sam is, but that has got to be about half his life anyway.

    So it is with great pleasure that I thank Sam for his long service to our country. Thank you, Sam.

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