MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Students at Liberty Middle School in Madison got a lesson today on courage. It was a lesson to last a lifetime. There was no better teacher to give it than a Medal of Honor recipient.
"She mentioned I've been in combat, in fights, but if you have good eyeballs you can tell I was in a fight yesterday morning, Colonel Leo Thorsness said jokingly to a room full of students,
Medal of Honor Recipient Colonel Thorsness told students a lawnmower won that one. Record books show Col. Thorsness had a bigger fight in 1967. Enemies shot down the Air Force pilot in North Vietnam. Col. Thorsness survived six years as a prisoner of war.
He knows courage. He tried explaining it to boys at Liberty Middle Leadership Day.
"Being a kid and going through school not cheating, bullying, or cutting corners, that`s takes courage. That's a perfect example of courage when they do it right," added Col. Thorsness.
Omar Elsotouhy was one of many boys able to see the nation's highest military honor worn around the colonel's neck. Elsotouhy thought the award was cool, but found more interest in the colonel's story. The seventh-grader even imagined if he was in combat.
"I wouldn't care about an award or anything. All I'd care about are the lives I saved," added Col. Thorsness.
The students asked the colonel questions after hearing the speech. One of the boy's asked, "Would the colonel do it all over again knowing being shot down was a possibility?"
Col. Thorsness replied, "Yes."