Former combat pilot-hero Rep. Sam Johnson is blasting Democratic critics of the Iraq war for undermining the morale of the troops and emboldening the enemy by calling for an early withdrawal.

In an open letter posted Wednesday on the web site of Human Events, Johnson began:

“I spent 29 years in the Air Force – served in Korea and Vietnam – and spent seven years as a POW in Vietnam – more than half of that time in solitary confinement.”

The Texas Republican said he remembers what it was like to be held captive far from home, “risking your life, and hearing that America doesn’t care about you.”

“When I was a POW, I was scared to death when our Congress talked about pulling the plug that I would be left there forever,” he said. Based on his own firsthand experience, Johnson said the constant negative talk from war critics hurts both the troops and the overall war on terror, explaining, “I know what it does to morale – I know what it does to the mission.”

“Any talk – even so much as a murmur – of leaving now just emboldens the enemy and weakens the resolve of our of troops in the field,” the Vietnam hero said, warning, “That’s just irresponsible and unconscionable.”

Johnson vowed not to let Congress undermine today’s troops, the way it did during Vietnam, saying: “So help me God, I will never, ever let our nation make those mistakes again. Never.”


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