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Emerald Coast Pays Tribute to Air Force Legend Col George ‘Bud’ Day

By Airman 1st Class Christopher Callaway 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Nearly 1,000 service members, veterans

and citizens from across the nation paid their respects to the life and legacy of a retired Air Force colonel during a funeral service at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Oka- loosa Island, Fla., Aug. 1. Col. George “Bud” Day, a Medal of Honor recipient and combat pilot with ser- vice in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, passed away July 27 at the age of 88. Airmen and Marines alike lined the sides

of the solemn lowly-lit room. The sounds of soft classical music set the mood of a somber day. Attendees gathered together in one large line to pay respects to a man that gave every- thing and more to support the United States of America at all cost.

“The last word that was spoken to the

love of his life, Dory, was ‘home.’” said George Day Jr., son of Day, during the ser- vice. “This is a celebration of his life, and

Service members salute retired U.S. Air Force Col. George “Bud” Day’s hearse as it arrives to Barrancas National Cemetery on Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 1, 2013. Day, a Medal of Honor recipient and combat pilot with service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, passed away July 27 at the age of 88. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Parkinson)

we are so thankful that you are here honoring him.”

According to Day’s biography, the Sioux City, Iowa, native enlisted in the U.S.

Registration Deadlines for 2013 Convention/Reunion

This year’s convention/reunion is rap- idly approaching. Hopefully you have re- ceived your reservations notice in the mail and have already made your reservations either electronically or via the convenient mailed form. This year we have all of our normal great events lined up but we are also opening the aperture a bit to attract even more Air Commandos. The first new addition is our 5k Fun Run/Walk. We are dubbing it the First Annual Air Commando Heritage Run and it will be held at 0730 on Friday 11 October at Hurlburt. Please see the flyer in another part of the newsletter.

We are hoping for a great turnout and we are also anticipating a few of our Air Com- mando Icons to meet and greet the runners as they finish the run.

In addition, this year we are having a

breakfast and heritage seminar in conjunc- tion with our annual business meeting. The lineup will take us from old to new as Air Commandos from the past discuss lessons they learned and how they apply today. In addition, we are honored to have retired Air Commando Col Tim Hale, the Secretary for


Marine Corps in 1942 and served 30 months in the South Pacific. At World War II’s end, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve until he later completed training to become a fighter- bomber pilot with the U.S. Air Force in 1950. On perhaps one of the most fateful days

of Day’s life, the North Vietnamese shot down his F-100 Super Sabre Aug. 26, 1967. Day, who suffered multiple injuries, would be captured and held captive for nearly six years during which he endured torture on a daily basis.

One of his fellow prisoners of war, U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, attended the service and remarked on the colonel’s dedi- cation to service and devotion to his country. “I had the privilege of being Bud’s friend

for almost five decades of his 88 years,” Mc- Cain said. “He was a hard man to kill and expected the same from his subordinates, but more than that, he taught me how to save my self-respect and my honor, and that is a debt I can never repay.” McCain shared a story of Day’s per-

See DAY pg 7 chapters: cannon • hUrLBUrt • KirtLand • Kadena • miLdenhaLL• rocKy moUntain area • tampa Bay area • washington d.c.

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