This piece originally appeared on The Patriot Project
Paul Galanti has earned the nation’s respect. He graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962 and entered Naval flight training, where he became an instructor. In 1965 he was assigned to the USS Hancock, a carrier off Vietnam, and flew 97 combat missions before being shot down on June 17, 1966. He was captured and kept as a POW for almost seven years, released February 12, 1973. There are good write-ups describing some of his time as a POW and later career available online here, here and here, and the text of a Virginia Senate and Assembly Joint Resolution commending him is available here.
Following post-POW rehabilitation Galanti completed a Masters degree and went on to complete a distinguished career, retiring as Commander in 1983. His military decorations include the Silver Star, Two Legions of Merit for combat, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star for combat, nine Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal for combat and two Purple Hearts. He was on the cover of Life Magazine in October, 1967 and Newsweek, February, 1973. His bio at the Vietnam POW site also notes that he:
"is a recipient of the Liberty Bell Award, the Outstanding Virginian Award and numerous other awards and citations for civic service. He is Past President of the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation, Past President of Nam-POWs, the national Vietnam POW Fraternity, a River Rat, POW Coordinator for the Skyhawk Association and an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, he was President of his class at Annapolis."
Paul Galanti served with honor and endured a great sacrifice for this country. He stands as a model for overcoming the worst that can be thrown at a person, and honors all of us as Americans. Like his fellow veterans Paul Galanti has earned the respect of every American.