Ex-Astronaut Glenn Honored

Former astronaut and ex-US Senator John Glenn received the 2008 Thomas D. White National Defense Award April 22 at a ceremony at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Named in honor of former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas Dresser White, the award has been presented annually since 1962 to a US citizen who has contributed significantly to national defense and security. “It’s a great honor, especially when I see the list of people who have gone before,” said Glenn, now 88. He added, “They are some of the finest people I know.” On Feb. 20, 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. He returned to space at age 77 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest human in orbit. Past recipients of the White award include President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, Sen. Barry Goldwater, Sen. John McCain, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Gen. Colin Powell, and Bob Hope. (Air Force Academy report by Ann Patton)