The life of Col. George "Bud" Day - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

The life of Col. George "Bud" Day


The most decorated living American hero has left us now, and we will celebrate his life and be grateful for all that Bud Day did for all of us."

"He was just a great example about what it means to be brave in the face of danger."

"People thought, well this day will never come. This is a man whose cheated death so frequently, that many people wondered if they would ever see the day that Colonel Day passed."

Colonel George "Bud" Day, labeled the most decorated living war veteran in U.S. history, has passed away at the age of 88.

Colonel Day succumbed to throat cancer Saturday morning in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, surrounded by family.

He was born in Sioux City on February 24th, 1925, and grew up in the Riverside neighborhood.

Day went to Central High School and later went to Morningside College and the University of South Dakota Law School.

He joined the military in 1943 and had a long military career, enlisting in the Marines, the Air Force, the Army Reserves, and the National Guard.

After getting his wings, Day cheated death on a mission over England, when he was ejected and his parachute did not deploy.

It would happen again, ten years later when his plane went down in Vietnam.  Day was taken as a prisoner of war for 67 months.  He received a Medal of Honor upon his release.

In his later years, Day would sue the federal government for denying free lifetime medical care to military veterans.

Though he lost that fight, Day remained a champion for veterans rights.

NBC's Tom Browkaw spent time with Col. Bud Day.  During that interview, Day spoke more about the events that unfolded while his was imprisoned in North Vietnam.  You can watch that story by clicking here.

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