Col. George “Bud” Day — an LCMS member and one of the most highly decorated military officers in U.S. history — died July 27 at his home in Shalimar, Fla., of complications from cancer. His funeral was Aug. 1 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 88.
Day was the subject of an August 2012 profile in The Lutheran Witness, “10 Minutes with … Colonel Bud Day,” by Jeni Miller, who received an award for the story this spring from the Associated Church Press.
Day — who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was Sen. John McCain’s cellmate — endured brutal torture and suffered many injuries, but his faith in God “never faltered,” he told Miller. Acknowledging that he had been “very frightened many times” during his captivity, Day said he also experienced a physical “calm that God gave me in the midst of trouble.”
In a July 28 statement, McCain said he owed his life to Day, who helped nurse him back to health in a Vietnam prison. “He was the bravest man I ever knew,” McCain said, “and his fierce resistance and resolute leadership set the example for us in prison of how to return home with honor.”
Day’s survivors include his wife of 64 years, Doris; four children — Steve Day of Gulf Breeze, Fla.; retired Air Force Lt. Col. George Day Jr. of Spring, Texas; Sandra Hearn of West Monroe, La.; and Sonja LaJeunesse of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. — and 15 grandchildren.
Updated Aug. 1, 2013
Hello my name is Donna Birney I live in Franklinville, NJ and saw
in the Courier Post that Col. George Day had passed. I have
had a POW/MIA bracelet that has his name on it. I wanted to
try to get some info for a family member and send them the
bracelet for there dad. My condolences to the family.
Please if you can help me in the matter I would appreciated send
any info to my e-mail address.
I live around the same area as Col Day. Although I go to a different church, I do know that he was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Shalimar. Their pastor is Ray Anger man. Their website with contact info is:
If you contact them, I’m sure they can get the bracelet to his family.