Senator Joe Manchin honors General Chuck Yeager in a video tribute

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), released a video tribute honoring the life and legacy of General Chuck Yeager, an American hero and native West Virginian.

“The legacy Chuck leaves is such an important part of our heritage as West Virginians.  Our little state has mined the coal that forged the steel that built the tanks and ships that keep our country the strongest in the world. It is an honor to remember Chuck as part of our military service heritage and our way of life that sinks deep into the roots of West Virginia’s rich culture. I encourage all Americans to learn what they can about this legendary West Virginian,” Senator Manchin said in part.

“I am honored to join each of you in honoring the memory of legendary West Virginian, Gen. Chuck Yeager. And Gayle and I continue to pray and extend our condolences to his wife, Victoria, and family.

As Governor, I was fortunate to host Chuck at least once a year for the One Shot Deer Hunt, which gives proceeds to Hunters Feeding the Hungry.  He told me so many incredible stories of his service including all the details of his legendary flights. I recall him telling me that the only reason he got to fly the Bell X-1 was because the previous test pilot they asked wanted a renewed contract that was way too expensive. They offered Chuck an extra 60 dollars a month and he jumped at the chance. Not only is the story true about Chuck pushing through with a broken rib, but he wasn’t even supposed to break the sound barrier that day. He thought if he didn’t go for it, he wouldn’t get another chance. Chuck truly had nerves of steel.

Long after his record-breaking flight, Chuck remained in our hearts as a symbol of patriotism and bravery. His life is full of tales of his valor, his stoicism in the face of danger, and his determination to perform his duty no matter the cost.

Chuck truly embodied what it means to be a true Mountaineer.  He was born in 1923 in rural Lincoln County, and grew up the way many of us do in West Virginia – hunting and fishing, and learning early to be respectful of nature and our fellow man. His work ethic and natural talent served him well throughout the rest of his remarkable life.

The legacy Chuck leaves is such an important part of our heritage as West Virginians.  Our little state has mined the coal that forged the steel that built the tanks and ships that keep our country the strongest in the world. It is an honor to remember Chuck as part of our military service heritage and our way of life that sinks deep into the roots of West Virginia’s rich culture. I encourage all Americans to learn what they can about this legendary West Virginian.

When Chuck became the first pilot to break the sound barrier he challenged each of us to test the limits of what is possible. His West Virginia values shone through in all he did. His work ethic, fortitude, and persistence in the face of danger gave chuck the “right stuff” to push the limits of endurance. Chuck said, “The best pilots fly more than the others; that’s why they’re the best.” He remains an inspiration to us all and to all who have, and will, follow in his footsteps. I am grateful to have known him and to call him my dear friend, and once again, we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Victoria, and family. Thank all of you for this beautiful tribute to a true West Virginia hero. God truly did bless us all for allowing us to be a part of Chuck’s life.

Thank you and God Bless.”

To watch Senator Manchin’s video tribute click here.