Tags: Veterans | sam | johnson | republican | address | freedom | veterans

Rep. Sam Johnson Reminds Americans: 'Freedom Isn't Free'


By    |   Saturday, 07 Nov 2015 09:30 AM

Rep. Sam Johnson, who spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam's notorious Hanoi Hilton, pointed out in Saturday's GOP address  that "freedom isn't free" and made a pre-Veteran's Day call for support for veterans and their families.

"It has a cost," the Texas Republican said. "And that cost is paid first by our veterans and their families — because when one member joins, it is the whole family that serves. When our veterans come home, we should do all we can to make sure they get the care they need when they need it. That is the least we can do."

Johnson said Veterans Day has a very special meaning for him, as he served in the Air Force for 29 years, flying combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

"In 1966, when I was serving in Vietnam, I was shot down and taken prisoner," he said. "I spent nearly seven years in the Hanoi Hilton. And when I got out, I weighed about 140 pounds."

He said he was able to get through the years with the support of fellow POWs like Jerry Denton and Jim Stockdale, and as they were not allowed to talk, the men taught him the "tap code," and the three of them did all they could to fight back against their captors and were "blacklisted as hardcore resisters."

They were eventually moved to a place they called "Alcatraz" with eight other men, and the 11 of them spent 42 months shackled together in solitary confinement.

"There was no news from home, and our captors did their best to make us feel forgotten," he said. "But my Alcatraz buddies and I were a family. We banded together, encouraged one another, and kept each other’s spirits up."

Johnson recalled the time a typhoon blew through Hanoi, and as his cell filled with water, he prayed as he never had before "and felt a strange sense of peace in the darkness."

"The next morning, my cell was flooded with the light of dawn...and just a few hours later, guards came into my cell and removed my legs from the stocks," he said.

He said telling the story reminded him of something a fellow captive wrote on a wall: "Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die that the protected will never know.”

Related Stories:

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Rep. Sam Johnson, who spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam's notorious Hanoi Hilton, pointed out in Saturday's GOP address that "freedom isn't free" and made a pre-Veteran's Day call for support for veterans and their families.
sam, johnson, republican, address, freedom, veterans
413
2015-30-07
Saturday, 07 Nov 2015 09:30 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved