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Senate honors former POW

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX – A real American hero was honored by the Texas Senate today as Senate Resolution 147 recognized Congressman Sam Johnson of Plano on the 30th anniversary of his release from a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp.

The resolution was offered by Sen. Florence Shapiro, also of Plano. Johnson received a rousing standing ovation when introduced and was given the rare opportunity of addressing those in the chamber, in a break from Senate tradition.

Shapiro called Johnson a "true American hero" and a symbol of the nation's military as well as its "freedom and patriotism."

"Isn't this a great nation and a great state we live in?" said Johnson. He noted he had served some years ago with some members of the Senate "on the other side of this building" as a member of the Texas House.

"Our military guys are doing a great job for us now," he said. "It's the freedom of the world we have at stake today." He said he as well as other former POWs "are ready to go back and fight again for this country."

Choking back tears, Johnson recalled an inscription on a wall in one of the POW camps that read, "Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die that the protected will never know."

"God bless America," said Johnson as he saluted the chamber.