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Michael B.
Republican TX 26

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

    by Representative Michael C. Burgess

    Posted on 2013-02-25

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    BURGESS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.



    Mr. Speaker, we are here tonight to honor Congressman Sam Johnson. It's also appropriate to take a moment and send our thoughts and prayers to Congressman Johnson's family during a difficult time that they're going through right now.

    As we've heard tonight, Congressman Johnson is a decorated war hero. During his 29-year service in the United States Air Force, Congressman Johnson flew in 62 combat missions in the Korean War and 25 missions in the Vietnam War. He endured almost 7 years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, with a majority spent in solitary confinement, after being captured in North Vietnam.

    Congressman Johnson persevered through this dreadful experience, returned to the United States and was reunited with his wife and three children on February 12, 1973. This week marks the 40th anniversary of his release, and we celebrate his achievements and the sacrifice for his country. In fact, 10 years ago this week, I gave what was my first speech on the House floor honoring then Sam Johnson's 30th anniversary of freedom, and at that time his wife, Shirley, was with us in the gallery.

    {time} 1950 When Sam came home, he undertook a duty to continuously support and protect every man and woman who risks his life fighting for the United States of America. This was a motivation for his decision to run for office, and it is a true statement to the character and virtues that he gained from his service to this country.

    In thinking about Shirley, every summer, she does a fashion show in Frisco, Texas. Sam is my neighbor to the east from the congressional district that I represent. Shirley does a fashion show, the proceeds of which go to provide scholarships for kids in the area--true dedication to community service. We are all so honored to have Sam and Shirley in our lives.

    Thank you, Congressman Johnson. Thank you for being my friend and my mentor, for providing me expertise when I ran for the House and when I arrived at the House. You continue to provide mentorship to me today.

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