At the March meeting of the JWV Copper State Post 619, Past Commander Ronald Buckner was honored as Person of the Year. As part of the ceremony in April, he presented a certificate and a very special flag.
When Past Commander’s son Jeffrey, currently in the Senior Executive Service for the Social Security Administration and assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee subcommittee on Social Security, chaired by Rep. Sam Johnson from Texas, mentioned the Post and its work for veterans, Rep. Johnson took action and requested the flag be flown at the Capitol to honor Copper State Post 619 and its accomplishments. It was then sent to Past Commander Buckner to present to the Post.
Congressman Johnson is a 29-year veteran of the United States Air Force and flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He also spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi and is recognized as one of the longest-held POWs in the Vietnam War, held for five years in the Hanoi Hilton, and two years in a little-known prison called Alcatraz. As an officer, an F4 Phantom pilot shot down and captured, he determined he would not cooperate with his captives. Because of this, he and several other officers were put in solitary confinement for two years, his leg shackled to the wall, with only a tin cup and toothpaste. He and the others developed a system to communicate with each other by tapping their tin cup. He survived to come back and serve his country in Congress. His tin cup is now in the Smithsonian.
The accompanying certificate reads: “This is to certify that the accompanying flag was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of the Honorable Sam Johnson, Member of Congress. In recognition of past and current members of Copper State Post #619, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, for your service and sacrifice in support of our great nation. Thank you for your continuing support of America’s veterans through your fundraising and volunteerism. God bless.”
Both certificate and flag will soon be proudly on display in Sun Lakes Phase 1 clubhouse.