Theodore's World: A Hero Speaks For Our Troops ~ Not To Be Missed Video!!

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February 18, 2007

A Hero Speaks For Our Troops ~ Not To Be Missed Video!!

The last Republican to speak against the Democrats' anti-surge, pro-defeat resolution yesterday was Sam Johnson of Texas. Johnson was a 29-year Air Force veteran, who flew something like 90 combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. He was shot down over North Vietnam and spent seven years as a POW, more than half of that time in solitary confinement. He returned to the U.S. in 1973 and was elected to Congress in 1991.

Coincidentally, this week in 1973 as one of the longest held captives, Johnson finally left Hanoi on February 12, 1973 and returned home to Texas on February 17, 1973.

He got a standing ovation from those in the House chamber, but see how few Democrats were willing to hear him speak.

As I watched this I cried, I cried in pride that we have Veterans like this man and Veterans like those of you here at Theodore's World blog. And for all the Veterans I have met and are my friends. I cried too for my broken heart that this is happening for a second time to our military that without them we have nothing!!!!!

I hope you all watching it and hear his voice, the whole thing, it is so moving and made my heart burst with pride.

Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you....................

Congressman Johnson (R-TX) Floor Speech

I am putting the transcript of what he said as well........

Johnson’s floor statement follows:

"You know, I flew 62 combat missions in the Korean War and 25 missions in the Vietnam War before being shot down.

“I had the privilege of serving in the United States Air Force for 29 years, attending the prestigious National War College, and commanding two air bases, among other things.

“I mention these stories because I view the debate on the floor not just as a U.S. Congressman elected to serve the good people of the Third District in Texas, but also through the lens of a life-long fighter pilot, student of war, a combat warrior, a leader of men, and a Prisoner of War.

“Ironically, this week marks the anniversary that I started a new life – and my freedom from prison in Hanoi.

“I spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, more than half of that time in solitary confinement. I flew out of Hanoi on February 12, 1973 with other long-held Prisoners of War – weighing just 140 pounds. And tomorrow – 34 years ago, I had my homecoming to Texas – a truly unspeakable blessing of freedom.

“While in solitary confinement, my captors kept me in leg stocks, like the pilgrims… for 72 days….

“As you can imagine, they had to carry me out of the stocks because I couldn’t walk. The following day, they put me in leg irons… for 2 ½ years. That’s when you have a tight metal cuff around each ankle – with a foot-long bar connecting the legs.

“I still have little feeling in my right arm and my right hand… and my body has never been the same since my nearly 2,500 days of captivity.

“But I will never let my physical wounds hold me back.

“Instead, I try to see the silver lining. I say that because in some way … I’m living a dream…a hope I had for the future.

“From April 16, 1966 to February 12, 1973 – I prayed that I would return home to the loving embrace of my wife, Shirley, and my three kids, Bob, Gini, and Beverly…

“And my fellow POWs and I clung to the hope of when – not if – we returned home.

“We would spend hours tapping on the adjoining cement walls about what we would do when we got home to America.

“We pledged to quit griping about the way the government was running the war in Vietnam and do something about it… We decided that we would run for office and try to make America a better place for all.

“So – little did I know back in my rat-infested 3 x 8 dark and filthy cell that 34 years after my departure from Hell on Earth… I would spend the anniversary of my release pleading for a House panel to back my measure to support and fully fund the troops in harm’s way….and that just days later I would be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives surrounded by distinguished veterans urging Congress to support our troops to the hilt.

“We POWs were still in Vietnam when Washington cut the funding for Vietnam. I know what it does to morale and mission success. Words can not fully describe the horrendous damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground.

“Our captors would blare nasty recordings over the loud speaker of Americans protesting back home…tales of Americans spitting on Vietnam veterans when they came home... and worse.

“We must never, ever let that happen again.

“The pain inflicted by your country’s indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors.

“Our troops – and their families – want, need and deserve the full support of the country – and the Congress. Moms and dads watching the news need to know that the Congress will not leave their sons and daughters in harm’s way without support.

“Since the President announced his new plan for Iraq last month, there has been steady progress. He changed the rules of engagement and removed political protections.

“There are reports we wounded the number two of Al Qaeda and killed his deputy. Yes, Al Qaeda operates in Iraq. It’s alleged that top radical jihadist Al-Sadr has fled Iraq – maybe to Iran. And Iraq’s closed its borders with Iran and Syria. The President changed course and offered a new plan …we are making progress. We must seize the opportunity to move forward, not stifle future success.

“Debating non-binding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.

“The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops…Just ask John Murtha about his ‘slow-bleed’ plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.

“Now it’s time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home – and those who fought and died in Iraq - so I can keep my promise that when we got home we would quit griping about the war and do something positive about it…and we must not allow this Congress to leave these troops like the Congress left us.

“Today, let my body serve as a brutal reminder that we must not repeat the mistakes of the past… instead learn from them.

“We must not cut funding for our troops. We must stick by them. We must support them all the way…To our troops we must remain…always faithful.

“God bless you and I salute you all. Thank you.”

Posted by Wild Thing at February 18, 2007 12:44 AM


A man of clear thought, with a spine. How did the Democrats ever allow such a threat to their "undermine America" campaign ever make it to be recognized for comment in the house?

Posted by: Mike B. at February 18, 2007 03:09 AM

It is beautiful and well spoken.
I'm sorry if they don't "believe" in the war,
but like it or not, we are at war and the
boys and girls over there HAVE to have
support of everyone!
The Liberal media needs to stop telling lies and emboldening the enemy (who doesn't believe the enemy watches CNN?) and the dummycrats need to lighten up and stop forcing things.
No one likes or wants war--if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
Let's do what's right and support our children in harms way. They're doing it so we don't have to!

Posted by: Lynn at February 18, 2007 07:55 AM

Wow ! Impressive, Awesome, I fear though he was speaking to a bunch of empty suits. Sam Johnson is one of the few heroes that actually work in congress. Too bad the rest of them can't seem to muster the courage it must have taken Sam Johnson to survive and to return and fulfill his dream.

I think though, that as long as we have MEN like Sam Johnson we will be alright. Because he knows what it takes to keep this country free. As far as I am concerned the 'White-Flag' democrats be damned.

Posted by: Mark at February 18, 2007 08:04 AM

It's such a shame that the Democrats and RINO's didn't listen to a thing this man said. It only proves its not about the troops but only about money.

Posted by: BobF at February 18, 2007 09:06 AM

Sam Johnson was my Congressman until district lines were redrawn 4 years ago. He is an American patriot thru and thru. He shames most of the leadership we have, by being an absolutely honest man. He is one of the few who will stand up and correct John McCain when McCain gets on one of his liberal bents.

If we had more Sam Johnsons and no Murthas, Kerrys, Kennedys, Clintons, Bidens, et al, this war would probably be over and won for the most part.

Posted by: TomR at February 18, 2007 12:22 PM

Standing O. That was great.

Posted by: raz0r at February 18, 2007 08:53 PM

Mike,your so right, and when the video began I noticed how few Demcorats stayed to hear Sam Johnson's speech. They couldn't even show him respect to stay and listen.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 18, 2007 11:57 PM

Lynn, it would be so powerful if the support was all across our country and in our government. Like a dream come true.

Great comment Lynn, thank you.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 18, 2007 11:59 PM

Mark, yes, the men like Sam Johnson may be few but they are strong and know the course and will not be swayed. God bless Johnson and those like him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 19, 2007 12:06 AM

Bob, yes I noticed that too, lots of empty seats where the Democrats sit when Sam Johnson spoke. So sad, so pathetic and disgusting to see this behavior from the left. Unforgivable.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 19, 2007 12:11 AM

Tom that is just so neat that he was your even though he isn't now. Wow that is wonderful. I would love to have someone like that to vote for.
Thanks for sharing about it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 19, 2007 12:14 AM

razOr glad you got to hear it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 19, 2007 12:18 AM