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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 

 

Education benefits benefit Airmen

  LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — Education — it’s something that’s important not only to be competitive in one’s military career but also in the civilian sector. “A diploma or college education shows you not only have the education but you also have critical thinking skills, and that you can analyze, be objective and have a...
 
 

Raytheon, partners develop low-cost, high-tech airframe for U.S. Air Force decoy

TUCSON, Ariz.–Raytheon, in partnership with Fokker and Dallara, has developed a lower-cost carbon fiber airframe for the U.S. Air Force’s Miniature Air Launched Decoy by applying robotics and formula racing technologies. The three companies reduced airframe production costs by 25 percent. The new innovative composite design will be included in this year’s Lot 7 production....
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Fuel systems repair hangar officially opens

The 355th Component Maintenance Squadron’s joint fuel cell repair hangar ribbon cutting ceremony was held July 13. The facility was constructed to improve efficiency within the joint fuel cell leading to the reduction in man ...
 




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>