American Patriot: The Life And Wars Of Colonel Bud Day
During the course of his military career, Bud Day won every available combat medal, escaped death on no less than seven occasions, and spent 67 months as a POW in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, along with John McCain. Despite sustained torture, Day would not break. He became a hero to POWs everywhere--a man who fought without pause, not a prisoner of war, but a prisoner at war.
Upon his return, passed over for promotion to Brigadier General, Day retired. But years later, with his children grown and a lifetime of service to his country behind him, he would engage in another battle, this one against an opponent he never had expected: his own country. On his side would be the hundreds of thousands of veterans who had fought for America only to be betrayed. And what would happen next would make Bud Day an even greater legend.
Coram's superb biography of the most decorated living American veteran begins with Bud Day's Great Plains childhood and takes him through joining the air force, marrying his high-school sweetheart, and flying ever-more-demanding missions in Vietnam. After his luck ran out, he escaped from the first POW camp in which he was interned but was recaptured and endured five years of torture in a second. Retiring with the Medal of Honor, he returned to public life a generation later, launching breach-of-contract suits against the Clinton administration for what he perceived as its bad faith in dealing with Vietnam veterans. Although partially disabled and an ongoing sufferer from PTSD, Day remains active in veterans' affairs and Republican politics. Coram's motives for writing the book--see the preface--may raise some eyebrows, but as he did for his previous fighter-pilot biography, Boyd (2002), he has researched thoroughly and written fluently and with sympathy for his subject, an authentic hero worthy of many books.
Roland Green / Booklist
'Superb...Coram has researched thoroughly and written fluently and with sympathy for his subject, an authentic hero'
'Riveting...A poignant and ultimately inspiring portrait...Day's military service tale is wide, varied, fraught with drama and jaw-dropping episodes'