Honoring Congressman Sam Johnson on 40Th Anniversary of Release from Prisoner of War Campby Representative Lamar Smith
Posted on 2013-02-25
SMITH of Texas. First of all, I want to thank the gentleman from
Texas (Mr. Poe) for organizing this Special Order tonight.
Mr. Speaker, today's Special Order is to honor our friend, colleague and a true American patriot, Congressman [[Page H613]] Sam Johnson, and his 40th anniversary of freedom.
Congressman Johnson has a long history of serving our country. He spent 29 years in the United States Air Force and flew 87 combat missions during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was awarded two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star with Valor, and has received many other recognitions. Today, we celebrate Operation Homecoming and observe the 40th anniversary of his release from a Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp.
Congressman Sam Johnson was captured and held for 7 years in a POW camp in Vietnam. He spent 42 months in solitary confinement--an unfortunate record. Though tested both physically and mentally, almost beyond comprehension, his unwavering love of God and country remained steadfast. A firsthand account of Congressman Johnson's experience in the Vietnamese POW camp can be found in his riveting and inspiring book, ``Captive Warriors,'' which will cause you to weep.
His commitment to his country was matched only by his wife Shirley's commitment to him. Friends say she set a seat at the table every night while he was gone with the hope and expectation that he would come home.
After his release, Congressman Johnson started a homebuilding business from the ground up. Then he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives for 7 years, and he has now represented Texas' Third Congressional District since 1991.
It is a professional honor and a personal privilege to serve with Congressman Sam Johnson. Today, we thank him for his service to our country and to the American people.