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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 4, 1996)
O’Grady endorses Christensen
Pilot shot down over Bosnia says to look at candidates’ character
By Erin Gibson
BELLEVUE — Capt. Scott
O’Grady, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot
down over Bosnia in 1994, urged par
ticipants at an election rally in Bellevue
Sunday to support family values and
reelect U.S. Rep. Jon Christensen.
“When you’re looking for a candi
date, look for issues, but also look for
character and accountability,” O’Grady
Character makes a hero, he said,
and Americans are looking for a hero.
O’Grady said that although people
call him a hero, he defines a hero as
anyone who helps somebody else, in
cluding the young Marines who res
cued him from enemy territory in
“But it doesn’t take a 19-year-old
kid to be a hero,” O’Grady said. “We
have heroes right here.”
Doctors, teachers and parents who
instill correct morals in children are
heroes, he said, and so is Jon
O’Grady met Christensen last May,
when they both received one of the 10
Outstanding Young Americans Awards
in Washington D.C.
O’Grady said he was happy
Christensen asked him to travel to Ne
braska and speak on his behalf.
He's been fighting battles in Washington
D.C., and I think that's more of a
dangerous battle than the one I fought
Capt. Scott O’Grady
U.S. Air Force pilot
“He’s been fighting battles in Wash
ington D.C., and I think that’s more of
a dangerous battle than the one I fought
in Bosnia,” O’Grady said.
But O’Grady’s battle dropped him
500 feet from a flaming cockpit deep
into enemy territory in Bosnia.
He eluded capture for six days un
der the cover of sticks and leaves, he
said, and was eating twigs, berries and
insects, while praying someone would
know he was still alive.
His battle began while flying over
Bosnia during a peacekeeping mission
in 1994, he said.
His mission was to enforce a “no
fly” zone, and to “prevent airplanes
from flying overhead and dropping
bombs on innocent people,” he said.
But an unexpected missiletumed
his plane into a fireball, and he fell into
the Bosnian woods after ejecting from
the cockpit, which O’Grady called a
“flaming coffin in the sky.”
It took 25 minutes for the young
pilot to hit the ground.
“I did a lot of thinking in that time,”
he said. “My thought processes were
going 1,000 miles-per-minute.
O’Grady then hid in the Bosnian
wilderness for six days while he tried
to make radio contact with American
“I prayed that someone would
know I was alive,” he said. “The one
thing I wanted to come home to was
But he knew America was behind
him, praying with him that he would
survive, he said.
“We live in a beautiful country,” he
said. “We have more freedoms and
privileges than any place else in the
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Daniel J. Luedert/DN
SCOTT O’GRADY spoke Sunday evening at a rally for Jon
Christensen, the Republican nominee for Nebraska’s 2nd District seat
in the U.S. House of Representatives.
AC U criticizes police for
%rk High drug raid
YORK (AP) — The Nebraska
chapter of the American Civil Liber
ties Union is criticizing state and local
police for a surprise drug raid Wednes
day at York High School.
The Nebraska State Patrol and York
Police used drug-sniffing dogs to
search lockers and vehicles for 45 min
utes Wednesday morning as school
officials kept students inside class
The search turned up a few mari
juana seeds, ashes and empty drug-re
lated containers, as well as one small
concealed weapon that school officials
said was neither a gun nor a knife.
“We are not in the business of has
sling kids,” principal Scott Koch said.
“The message we want to send is first
of all drugs are illegal, they are not
acceptable and they won’t be tolerated
But Executive Director of the Ne
braska chapter of the American Civil
Liberties Union, Matt LeMieux, said
the message being sent to students is
that they have no personal rights.
“This is a classic case of where stu
dents lose their rights as soon as they
enter the doors at school.”
The courts say that before police
and school officials can search a locker
or vehicle they need reasonable suspi
cion that there is evidence of a crime
or violation of school policy.
Koch insisted the search was legal
and that students had been told that
lockers and their vehicles on school
property are subjects search.
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