Today we lost one of the great ones

8 Dec

Today; December 8, 2016; is a day of remembrance as we reflect back on the life of one of the truly great Americans; former Marine, Astronaut, and United States Senator John Glenn. Mr. Glenn passed away after battling an undisclosed illness that had hospitalized him twice in the last month. He had honorably served his country for almost 6 decades out of his 95 years of life.

Mr. Glenn began our country in 1942 when, as my Americans, heard the call to service after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Even though he had enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp it was the United States Navy that took him for flight training. Near the end of his flight training he transferred to the United States Marines where, in 1943, he was assigned to the VMF-353 squadron where he flew transport. Being a man of action he transferred to the VMF-155 squadron where he flew 59 combat mission in the south Pacific. After World War II his service continued fling patrol mission in the Pacific and then as a flight instructor. In the Korean war Mr. Glenn service two term of duty where he flew 95 combat mission.

After his service in two wars Mr. Glenn became a test pilot taking new military jets to their breaking-point. On July 16, 1957 he earned his 5th distinguished fling cross when he made the first supersonic transcontinental flight. At the time of the flight he set a record time of 3 hours and 23 minutes from California to New York.

In 1958 Mr. Glenn began the third phase of his career when NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Agency) put out the call for astronauts. He applied for the new agency along with 507 other military test pilots. Early the following year he found out that he had made the final cut and was introduced to the rest of the country as one of the “Mercury Seven” astronauts. On February 20, 1962 he became the third American in space and the first to orbit the Earth in the Friendship 7 capsule. Two years after that historic flight Mr. Glenn announced his retirement from NASA to start a career in politics. The following year he also retired from the United States Marines with the rank of Colonel.

After a few setbacks Mr. Glenn started his political career in 1974 when he won his first term as an United States Senator for the state of Ohio. In 1984, during his second term as Senator, he made an unsuccessful run for the Presidency. He then returned to the floor of the Senate where he won two more terms before NASA came calling once again. In 1998 he became the first United States Senator to go into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. He left politics when his term expired in January of 1999.


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