Walt Cunningham – Space Pioneer

Article originally appeared on amac.us.


American heroes do not come truer to life than Walt Cunningham – a boy from Iowa who signed up out of high school to be a US Marine Corps fighter pilot, flew 54 combat missions in Korea, returned to finish college, got his masters and PhD in physics, selected to be a NASA astronaut, and then Apollo 7’s lunar module pilot.

Walt was blunt, humble and funny, an unapologetic conservative, incisive writer, occasional radio host, relentless contributor to the public good, and voice of reason – a friend of all Americans. He was also my friend for the past 25 years. Surrounded by family, age 90, he died quietly on January 3.

How do you put into proper perspective a life like Walt’s, filled with incalculable risk, unabashed love of his country, unremitting effort, giving and serving, no looking back, no excuses, no interest in stardom, always mission focused, and brutally honest? It is hard.

In an age when “hero” is used to describe …

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