Decorated veteran speaks at RTO Patriots' luncheon

Reported by: Alyx Sacks
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Updated: 7/30/2013 1:01 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & --The Reno-Tahoe Open is in full swing at Montreux Golf & Country Club and as a part of the tournament's "Salute to Troops" mission they hosted the 4th annual Patriots' Luncheon Tuesday.

Retired United States Air Force Col. Thomas Kirk was a prisoner of war and Vice Commander of all special forces in Europe served as the guest speaker during the luncheon.

Col. Kirk tells News 4 in October 1967 his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and he was forced to parachute from his plane.

He says he was knocked unconscious and was captured by the enemy.

Col. Kirk spent five and a half years as a POW alongside Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain.

The luncheon raised money for the Northern Nevada Veterans Resource Center.

Attendees also witnessed a dedication to the family of the fallen Army Sgt. Timothy Smith by the American Fallen Soldiers Project.

"We as a nation need to help them. We need to thank them for their service," Col. Kirk says.

Accroding to officials with RTO Col. Kirk was awarded the Purple Heart, Air Force Cross, three Silver Stars, two DistinguishedFlying Crosses, and nine Air Medals.
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