Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Heroic American Life of George “Bud” Day


It seems only fitting that someone should remark here upon the recent passing of Colonel George “Bud” Day.

You’ve probably already read one of his numerous obituaries. You may have watched John McCain eulogize him on the floor of the Senate. But his life was so extraordinary, so courageous, and so honorable, that it practically cries out for a permanent memorial.

I’m not necessarily talking about a statue in his hometown or his face on a coin. I’m thinking of something more permanent, more personal. We should all pause once in a while to remember the man who so loved his country, and so respected his duties as a leader of men, that he could endure with dignity five years of inhuman brutality and torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors, only to return and say:

There were certainly a lot of acts of courage that probably far exceeded what [I] saw [myself] doing. I never saw myself as having performed so extraordinarily that I was going to be a candidate for a Medal of Honor. So I was very humbled and recognized that I was getting this medal on behalf of a lot of other things and people who for some reason had not been recognized.

Far better for us as a nation to be known for our Bud Days than our John Kerrys. Far better for our young people to aspire to the true grit of a Bud Day than the game-day grit of a Kobe Bryant. Far better for our Vietnam scholars to write and study the heroic American life of Bud Day than the sad tragedies of My Lai or Kent State.

American children should learn the life of Bud Day in school. We who have not served in our nation’s military should hold our manhoods cheap while any speaks of Bud Day.

Requiescat in pace. 

There are 11 comments.

  1. Mollie Hemingway Contributor

    Thank you so much for this! I’m actually writing something up for another site right now. Col. Day was a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (as am I) and he spoke a bit about his faith last year.

    As our church body’s Rev. Matthew Harrison said:

    Colonel Bud Day, one of the most decorated veterans in U.S. history, died today. His pastor came up to me at the LCMS convention and told me Bud had only a few days to live. His pastor also told me a year ago that Bud was a regular in his weekly study of the Lutheran Confessions. My father-in-law had attended Morningside College in Sioux City with Day after WWII, both on the GI Bill. It’s a sad day. But I rejoice in is faith in the merits of Christ and give thanks for him.
    • #1
    • July 30, 2013, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. Nathan Harden Contributor

    Thanks for writing this post and sharing that extraordinary video, Matthew. Tremendously inspiring. The good in the world depends on courageous and humble men like Bud Day.

    • #2
    • July 30, 2013, at 7:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Devereaux Inactive

    Thank you for this.

    For many of us in the Marine Corps, Bud Day was the shining example of what an American fighting man was. He exemplified courage as others might only hope to have, yet never considered himself anything more than the rest.

    May the Lord bless him and keep him and make His face to shine upon him – and give him peace.

    • #3
    • July 30, 2013, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Stu In Tokyo Inactive

    Wonderful thank you for sharing this!

    Still makes my blood boil to think of that little hussy Jane Fonda……

    • #4
    • July 30, 2013, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Devereaux Inactive
    Stu In Tokyo: …

    Still makes my blood boil to think of that little hussy Jane Fonda…… · 6 minutes ago

    Oh, I could think of SO many other adjectives for Jane!

    • #5
    • July 30, 2013, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. Rapporteur Inactive

    For what it’s worth, the Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa is subtitled “Colonel Bud Day Field”.

    If you’re wondering why they have the URL “”: Sioux Gateway Airport’s IATA code is “SUX”, which probably caused a lot of giggling among travel agents in the days before online travel booking. The good folks in Sioux City, after determining they couldn’t get it changed due to a dearth of 3-letter airport codes, decided to run with it, resulting in a plethora of “Fly SUX” gift items:

    • #6
    • July 30, 2013, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Profile Photo Member

    Bud Day, I enjoy the freedom you sacrificed so much to ensure. RIP.

    • #7
    • July 31, 2013, at 4:44 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Lying, Dog-Faced Brony Soldier Coolidge
    Lying, Dog-Faced Brony Soldier Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Stu In Tokyo: Wonderful thank you for sharing this!

    Still makes my blood boil to think of that little hussy Jane Fonda…… · 19 hours ago

    I wasn’t even born until 1978, and she still gets my blood pressure up. She and Sean Penn are the only two actors I absolutely refuse to watch.

    • #8
    • July 31, 2013, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Breitheamh Member

    I highly recommend Robert Coram’s biography,American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day. A riveting account of an amazing life.

    BTW, you won’t regret reading Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art of War and Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine, also by Mr. Coram.

    • #9
    • July 31, 2013, at 6:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Stu In Tokyo Inactive
    Stu In Tokyo: …

    Still makes my blood boil to think of that little hussy Jane Fonda…… · 6 minutes ago

    Oh, I could think of SO many other adjectives for Jane! · 9 hours ago

    Well, there is a Code of Conduct here……

    • #10
    • July 31, 2013, at 8:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Man With the Axe Member

    Thanks to all who served. We don’t do enough for these brave men.

    • #11
    • July 31, 2013, at 9:17 AM PDT
    • Like