McCain rally brings decorated war veteran to Glenwood Springs High |

McCain rally brings decorated war veteran to Glenwood Springs High

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The Garfield County Republicans are hosting a Presidential Campaign Rally for Senator John McCain (Rep.) Saturday, September 20 at Glenwood Springs High School.

While Senator McCain will not be in attendance, a longtime friend and one-time cellmate while prisoners of war during the Vietnam War, Colonel Thomas H. Kirk Jr., will be giving the keynote address.

“He’s a man that knows (McCain) very well,” said Garfield County Republicans chair, Milt Blakey. “He went through that time in Vietnam with (McCain) and has insight into the character of who McCain really is.”

Kirk was a United States Air Force Colonel fighter pilot, who served 28 years on active duty before he retired in 1978. He is a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

During the Vietnam War, Col. Kirk’s F-105 was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Hanoi on October 28, 1967, where he was captured and spent five and a half years as a POW. He was released after the war’s end in March of 1973.

Kirk has received several awards for his service to his country including: The Air Force Cross, three Silver Stars, Two Distinguished Flying Crosses, nine Air Medals and the Purple Heart.

Kirk currently lives in Vail. He moved to the region in 1992 after spending 18 years in Spain after he retired from military service. He is a real asset to have so close to Glenwood Springs and to come speak to Garfield County residents on McCain’s behalf, according to Blakey.

“We felt that we were lucky to have someone not too far away,” Blakey said. “We’re excited. You don’t always run into people that have known a presidential candidate and have been through the experiences they’ve gone through together.”

The rally will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and Blakey encourages all who wish to attend to show up a little early. The rally will be in the Bob Chavez auxiliary gym in the newly renovated Glenwood Springs High School. The event is free and open to the public.

“It’s an event we are sponsoring and are inviting all to attend,” Blakey said. “It’s not closed to anyone.”

Glenwood Springs High School or the Roaring Fork School District is not sponsoring the event, the Garfield County Republicans rented the room for the event.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User