Skip to comments.Mourners Remember James Stockdale, Vietnam POW and Perot Running Mate
Posted on 07/16/2005 7:02:15 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
Mourners Remember James Stockdale, Vietnam POW and Perot Running Mate
Published: Jul 16, 2005 CORONADO, Calif. (AP) - Military officials and family members gathered atop an aircraft carrier Saturday to remember retired Vice Adm. James Stockdale, the highly decorated Navy officer who was Ross Perot's running mate in the 1992 presidential race.
The mourners made no mention of Stockdale's bid for vice president during the memorial service aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, focusing instead on his military career, which included spending 7 1/2 years in a North Vietnamese prison and being awarded the Medal of Honor for valor.
Stockdale died July 5 at age 81 at his home in Coronado. The military said he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
His four sons spoke of his early lectures arguing that "entitlement and privilege corrupt" and of how he valued his wife Sybil's weekly letters while held in a North Vietnamese prison.
"Words were worth gold and could help sustain him for years," Sidney B. Stockdale said of his mother's notes to his father.
On Saturday, Stockdale's flag-draped casket sat before flags from all 50 states and a massive American flag atop the carrier docked at Naval Air Station, North Island.
Stockdale was to be buried with full honors July 23 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
During the Vietnam War, he was a Navy fighter pilot based on the USS Oriskany and flew 201 missions before he was shot down on Sept. 9, 1965. The highest-ranking naval officer captured during the war, he aided other prisoners at Hoa Lo Prison, known as the "Hanoi Hilton."
Stockdale came to know Perot through his wife Sybil Stockdale's work establishing an organization on behalf of families of prisoners held during the war. He said he joined the presidential race to repay Perot for working to help free POWs in Vietnam.
"Jim Stockdale is a true American hero at a time when we really needed one," said retired Vice Adm. Edward H. Martin, who was imprisoned with Stockdale and attended the tribute. "He was a quiet hero but an incredibly effective one."
Stockdale retired from the military in 1979, one of the most highly decorated officers in U.S. Navy history, and became president of the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina. He left in 1981 to become a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
More info on Admiral Stockdale here:
That explains "Who am I? Why am I here?"
Seriously, Adm. Stockdale was a great American hero and his service is greatly admired and appreciated.
Condolences to James Stockdale's family and friends.
I have the utmost respect for Admiral Stockdale and am grateful for his contributions. How ironic (or maybe fitting?) that his memorial service was aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, being that Reagan also had Alzheimers.
201 Fricking missions. The man served his country in a time that heroes served without notice. God bless that soldier and his family.
And I read daily that new heroes are being minted in Iraq.
In retrospect, I hope people have learned a lesson with this; if an older person says things that are out in left field, we maybe shouldn't criticize, because there may be a logical explanation for the behavior (just look at the criticism Reagan got towards the end of his 2nd term).
Secretary of the Navy Gordon England speaks during a memorial service held for Retired Vice Adm. James Stockdale on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, Saturday, July 16, 2005, in San Diego. Stockdale, who endured 7 1/2 years in a North Vietnamese prison and earned the Medal of Honor for valor, was a highly decorated Navy pilot who ran for vice president as Ross Perot's running mate in 1992. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Sybil Stockdale, center, widow of Retired Vice Adm. James Stockdale, holds a U.S. flag as she passes his casket after a memorial service held on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan Saturday, July 16, 2005, in San Diego. Stockdale, Ross Perot's 1992 presidential running mate who received the Medal of Honor after enduring 7 1/2 years in a North Vietnam prison, died at his home, July 5, 2005, in Coronado. He was 81. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Thanks for adding the photos.
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