At the age of 55, Scott O’Grady becomes Deputy Secretary of Defense for International Security.
In June 1995, Captain O’Grady became a national hero after surviving for six days in a forest near Bihac, northeastern Bosnia, after his F-16 plane was hit by a Serbian rocket in during the “Deny Flight” operation.
Catapulted to almost 7,000 meters altitude, the US Air Force pilot suffered only a slight burn to the neck. He had only limited means of survival, but his training allowed him to survive using natural resources without being taken prisoner, despite intense searches by Serbs and Bosnians.
He was recovered by a Marines commando during a risky operation, under rocket fire and small arms fire.
Scott O’Grady recounted his adventure in a book, “Return with Honors,” which became a 2001 film, “Behind Enemy Lines.”
He received several military medals, including the famous ‘Purple Heart’.
After 12 years and 67 combat missions, he left the military in 2001 and became a “consultant, investor and entrepreneur,” according to the Pentagon’s brief biography.
Scott O’Grady was one of the speakers at the 1996 Republican Convention in San Diego, California. Settled in Texas, he briefly ran for the state Senate in 2011 as a Republican candidate.