Local

April 19, 2012

Former POWs share their stories with the Tucson community

Tags:
David S. Ricker
Staff writer
Photo by David S. Ricker/Aerotech News and Review
Richard Cooksley, 91, survived the Bataan Death March, imprisonment in the Philippines and forced labor in northern Japan. When asked about his longevity he shared his secret to long life. “Drink good Jack Daniels and don’t take anything a doctor tells you,” he said, with a wink.

Southern Arizona celebrated EX-POW Recognition Day April 9 by sharing the stories of former prisoners of war at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) in Tucson.

The program was co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), SAVAHCS and the American EX-POW southern Arizona Chapter.

J.L. Pepe Mendoza, assistant public affairs officer for SAVAHCS, said the purpose of the program was to provide first hand information to the public and raise the awareness of the personal sacrifices and experiences these veterans experienced. “This event has been here at the Southern Arizona VA Health care system for 28 years,” he said. “Each year we recognize ex-POWs who have given so much to the nation.”

The group of former POWs gathered for the April 9 event was smaller than it had been in previous years. “As you can see, the numbers have dwindled with each year,” Mendoza said. “They bring their memorabilia, their memories and experiences. What makes it nice is that our employees have an opportunity to come and talk to them.”

Richard Cooksley, 91, survived the Bataan Death March, imprisonment in the Philippines and forced labor in northern Japan. When asked about his longevity he shared his secret to long life. “Drink good Jack Daniels and don’t take anything a doctor tells you,” he said, with a wink.

Cooksley made the journey to the April 9 event from his home in the border community of Bisbee, Ariz. “It reminded us of Europe and we had been in Europe for three years,” he said. Cooksley remained in the Army after the war and ended his career as a “Cold Warrior. “

View Cooksley’s full account of his time as a POW at www.DavisMonthanAFBNews.com




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Extraordinary effort regardless of outcome

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Imagine a 5-year-old boy chasing grasshoppers at a camp site. He wanders too far. Darkness falls, and he is lost. A storm is brewing in the sky above, and the camping party turns into...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski

D-M conducts Meet and Greet at local high school

TUCSON, Ariz. — A community event was held at Rincon High School Wednesday. The Meet and Greet event allowed members of the Tucson community to interact with their neighboring Airmen and learn about the mission of Davis...
 
 
Better Business Bureau

Beware of unauthorized sports tickets websites

Tucson, AZ – Better Business Bureau warns against purchasing sports tickets from unauthorized outlets. With the football season approaching sports fans might do anything to get their hands on tickets at a discounted price...
 

 
Photo: Jamming_pict

Jamming the enemy with joint integration

Photo: Jamming_pict U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jonathon Leach, 41st Electronic Combat Squadron mission crew commander stands with U.S. Air Force EC-130H Compass Call crew members on the flightline at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, ...
 
 
Photo: 12AF_pict

Honduran air force members glean valuable knowledge from NDI technicians

Photo: 12AF_pict Honduran air force Master Sgts. Josué Molina and Elmer Villeda practice looking for discontinuities using an eddy current in an aircraft canopy during a subject matter expert exchange event with members from t...
 
 
Cyber_pict

Raytheon is building a cyber powerhouse

Only months after Raytheon acquired Blackbird Technologies, which offers persistent surveillance, secure tactical communications and cybersecurity solutions to the intelligence community and special operations market, synergies...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>