Colonel George "Bud" Day had experienced a lot during his lifetime. Sadly Day died Saturday morning at the age of 88.
"I was devastated. We knew he's been sick but he's a fighter. He doesn't give up he doesn't give up at all. He's been sick for a long time" said Veteran and Friend Bill Everett.
"My first thought of course was our nation our country has lost one of its greatest heroes" said Veteran Sam Houston.
Day served during World War two, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War. He was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for six years, sharing a cell with a young navy pilot named John McCain. McCain would go on to become a U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate.
Day was awarded the military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.
"All veterans know bud day. Especially those that were in the Vietnam war as he is an inspiration to all of us" said Houston.
After his release, Day continued serving his country, until his retirement in 1977. He was, and still is the air force's most decorated officer. Col. Day may have retired, but he didn't rest. He earned a law degree, and championed healthcare for veterans and their dependents.
"He had a lot of tenacity. He just wouldn't quit. If he thought something was right and he thought it was for the good of the veterans he would stay on that like a bull dog and he wouldn't turn it loose until it got corrected and got solved" said Everett.
Friends say day will be missed and remembered as a powerful force on the front lines of war and the home front.
"They'll be buildings named after him, they'll be airports named after him, there will be roads named after him. He's a great hero and he'll never be forgotten" said Everett.
There will be a memorial service for Col. Bud Day this Thursday morning at 11:00 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island.