Iowa flags to fly at half-staff Thursday

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Governor Terry Branstad ordered all flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Col. George “Bud” Day.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, flags should be flown at half-staff Thursday, August 1, 2013 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., to honor the Iowa-native veteran.

Day served in the U.S. Marine Corp during WWII and in the Iowa Army National Guard in 1950. In 1951 Day transferred to the U.S. Air Force Reserve where he completed pilot training and went into the active duty U.S. Air Force for the Korean War.

In August of 1967, while flying a combat mission in North Vietnam, Day’s plane was shot down. He was captured by the North Vietnamese Army and spent more than five years as a prisoner of war. He and U.S. Senator John McCain were cellmates during that time. Day was released from captivity in 1973 and retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1977.

His 35-year military career earned him over 70 awards, including the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam.

After retiring from the military, Day began practicing law with a focus on veterans’ issues.

“I was honored to call Bud a friend,” said Branstad. “We had the opportunity to hunt together even as recently as  2010, and I always enjoyed our time together. He will be missed.”

Day’s funeral will be Thursday, August 1 in Florida. He will be buried at Barrancas National Cemetery at Pensacola Naval Air Station.