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WWII Flying Ace Defined Patriotism for Generations

Thursday, January 2, 2003

FAIRFAX, VA -- "He was an ace fighter pilot, a state governor, a war hero, a TV star, a sports commissioner, a Christian leader and a man beloved by all. And, he was our president," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said today in memory of General Joe Foss who died yesterday. He was 87. "General Foss was a true patriot, in every sense of the word," continued LaPierre. "He will forever be remembered as someone who epitomized courage, fidelity and honor. His loss is shared by freedom loving people throughout our nation. I will miss my friend." "The passing of Joe Foss is a great loss for our nation and all Americans who were enriched by his love of country, integrity, duty and ever-cheerful inspiration. Patrick Henry once said that honor is a gift a man must bestow upon himself. I have known no man of more honor than Joe Foss. I will miss his smile, his laughter and his friendship," said legendary actor and NRA President Charlton Heston. General Foss` life was one of meritorious distinction. A few of his achievements were:

Medal of Honor recipient Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Founder, South Dakota Air National Guard Governor, South Dakota, 1954-1958 Representative, South Dakota Legislature, 1948-1953 Commissioner, American Football League, 1959-1966 Husband, Father and Grandfather

"General Foss defined heroism for servicemen since World War II. And for generations, he made American patriotism something to be proud of. He fought for what he believed in, and those causes are better for it," LaPierre concluded. The prayers and blessings of the entire National Rifle Association family are with the Foss family during this most difficult time. - - n r a - -

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.