On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran John Fer, a POW during the Vietnam War.
The third Friday in September is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Today’s Veteran of the Day is one of those people we honor.
John Fer was born in 1937 in California. In 1962, he graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Fer deployed to Vietnam in 1966. Soon after arriving, he received a Distinguished Flying Cross piloting through hostile fire. Months later, he earned a Silver Star for leading a flight of two unarmed electronic countermeasures support aircraft and four high cover aircraft into an extremely hazardous area to suppress radar controlled anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles in support of strike aircraft.
In 1967, North Vietnamese shot down and captured Fer after he ejected out of his plane. For the next six years, North Vietnamese tortured Fer, trying to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. North Vietnam released him in 1973.
Later in his career, Fer served as the principal advisor for Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Affairs for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Fer was a Department of Defense representative who contributed significantly to the establishment and implementation of national policy regarding this extremely sensitive matter. His efforts led to significant progress with the Indo-Chinese governments.
During his career, Fer received two Silver Stars, two Defense Superior Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals with “V” devices and a Prisoner of War Medal.
We honor his service.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.