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Release No: 432-06
May 11, 2006

Secretary Rumsfeld on the Passing of Sonny Montgomery

“With the passing on of Sonny Montgomery, America has lost a true patriot, and the men and women in uniform have lost one of their most passionate advocates.

“A decorated veteran of World War II -- where he won the Bronze Star for capturing a German machine gun nest -- as well as the Korean War, Sonny Montgomery brought his personal experience and expertise in military matters to bear in a lifetime of public service.

“It was a privilege to serve with Sonny when he first joined the House of Representatives in the late 1960s.  Because of the way he treated everyone with grace and respect, Sonny would go on to become one of the most beloved and respected members of the Congress on both sides of the aisle.  Sonny’s most outstanding legislative accomplishment was the law that bears his name -- the Montgomery G.I. Bill -- which extended educational benefits to countless thousands of soldiers in the nation's all-volunteer service.

“The title of a recent biography of Sonny Montgomery put it well.  He truly was, ‘The Veteran’s Champion.’”

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