May this ‘real-life legend’ rest in peace

I had wanted to meet Sam Johnson, who for a brief period was my congressman. I am sad to say that won’t happen.

The former Republican congressman from Plano has died at the age of 87. He represented the Third Congressional District for 28 years. He was a staunch conservative; he hated pork-barrel politics. He fought for his principles with tenacity and courage.

Johnson did not seek re-election in 2018. My wife and I had just moved to Collin County earlier that year, so for a time he was our man in Congress.

The man who succeeded, Rep. Van Taylor of Plano, said this: Sam Johnson was a legend – a real life legend.

Yes. He most certainly was.

What made him legendary was what happened to him before he ever went to Congress.

Sam Johnson was an Air Force pilot who had the maximum misfortune of being shot down while flying his 25th mission during the Vietnam War. He was held captive for nearly four years, almost all of that time in solitary confinement.

Rep. Taylor is correct. Sam Johnson was a “real-life legend.”

I was hoping to shake his hand. I regret that won’t happen, at least not in this life.

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