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.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(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...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




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>