1997 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representatives Ford, Horne, Robinson (84th), Bailey, Banks, Barnett (116th), Barnett (92nd), Blackmon, Bourdeaux, Bowles, Bozeman, Broomfield, Brown, Cameron, Capps, Chaney, Clark, Clarke, Coleman (29th), Coleman (65th), Comans, Compretta, Cummings, Davis (102nd), Davis (7th), Dedeaux, Denny, Dickson, Eaton, Ellington, Ellis, Ellzey, Endt, Evans, Flaggs, Formby, Foster, Franks, Fredericks, Frierson, Gadd, Gibbs, Green (34th), Green (72nd), Green (96th), Grist, Guice, Hamilton, Henderson (26th), Henderson (9th), Holden, Holland, Howell, Huddleston, Hudson, Huskey, Janus, Johnson, Ketchings, King, Livingston, Malone, Manning, Maples, Martinson, McBride, McCoy, McElwain, McInnis, Middleton, Miles, Miller, Mitchell, Moak, Montgomery, Moody, Moore, Morris, Moss, Myers, Nettles, Peranich, Perkins, Perry, Read, Reeves, Reynolds, Richardson, Robertson, Robinson (63rd), Rogers, Ross, Rotenberry, Ryan, Saucier, Schoby, Scott (17th), Scott (80th), Short, Shows, Simmons (100th), Simmons (37th), Simpson, Smith (27th), Smith (35th), Smith (39th), Stevens, Straughter, Stribling, Stringer, Taylor, Thornton, Vince, Walker, Wallace, Warren, Watson, Weathersby, Wells-Smith, Williams, Woods, Young

House Concurrent Resolution 46

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


WHEREAS, Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery -- diplomat, statesman . . . true American patriot -- humbly retired at the conclusion of the 104th Congress after loyally representing the 3rd Congressional District in the U. S. House of Representatives for 30 years; and

WHEREAS, born in Meridian, Mississippi, Sonny Montgomery was educated in the Meridian Public Schools, The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Mississippi State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree; and

WHEREAS, the long and distinguished career in public service of Sonny Montgomery began in 1956 when he was elected to the Mississippi Senate; and

WHEREAS, during his ten years of dedicated service in the Senate, Sonny Montgomery so diligently represented the interests of his constituency that he never missed a single roll call vote, a record which stands to this very day; and

WHEREAS, in November 1966, Sonny Montgomery, having earned a reputation as an honest, hard-working man of great integrity, wisdom and courage, was duly elected to his first term in the U. S. House of Representatives; and

WHEREAS, astutely recognizing, not long after his arrival in Washington, the human impossibility of learning everything there is to know about the myriad of issues inherently before each Congress, Sonny Montgomery wisely picked the key issues he would focus on throughout his congressional career -- veterans affairs and the military -- and soon became known as "Mr. Defense, Mr. National Guard"; and

WHEREAS, beginning in the early days with his personal Christmas visits with troops in Vietnam during a troubled era for the nation, Sonny Montgomery's never ending devotion and excellent leadership strategies on behalf of those committed to defending our country earned him the distinction of serving as Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and as ranking member of the Armed Services Committee; and

WHEREAS, while one of Sonny Montgomery's most significant victories during his 15 congressional terms was passage of the Montgomery G. I. Bill, which has helped thousands of young men and women across the country earn money for college through military service, he is widely acclaimed by the citizens of his hometown for a more recent tremendous triumph -- averting the closure of the Naval Air Station Meridian . . . not once, or twice . . . but on three separate occasions; and

WHEREAS, Sonny Montgomery, a highly decorated retired Major General in the Mississippi National Guard with over 35 years of active and reserve military service, has been the recipient of many honorable awards for his duty and countless contributions to the military, including the World War II European Theatre Ribbon, Bronze Star for Valor, Commendation Ribbon, Mississippi Magnolia Cross Award, Distinguished Service Medal (the highest award from the National Guard Association of the United States), the Harry Truman Award from the National Guard Association, the Army's Distinguished Civilian Service Award (the highest honor the Army bestows on a civilian), and the Major General G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery Award, the new top award of the National Guard Bureau designed specifically in honor of the bureau's biggest congressional champion; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of his meritorious service during his 15 terms in Congress, members of the House of Representatives gathered in September to plant a ten-foot magnolia tree affectionately known as the "Sonny Montgomery tree" on the U. S. Capitol grounds, marking only the 200th occasion in our nation's history that a memorial tree has been sowed on the Capitol grounds; and

WHEREAS, as a farewell salute, friends and colleagues, including a former U. S. President, the Governor of Mississippi, two former governors, members of Congress, a famous actress, best-selling author and a host of Mississippi's political leadership and hometown supporters, turned out for a premiere gala, "A Salute to Patriot" dinner, in Washington to pay tribute to Sonny Montgomery for all that he accomplished, yet humbly refers to "as only having done my job," throughout his career; and WHEREAS, although totally dedicated to his job in Congress and the people, Sonny Montgomery has made time to actively serve in many notable organizations, including his service as past President of the Mississippi State University Alumni Association, the Mississippi Heart Association and the Mississippi National Guard Association, and as a member of the Episcopal Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, 40 & 8, Shrine, Masons, Scottish Rite, York Rite and Moose; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Mississippi believes that it is most appropriate to pay special tribute to such an outstanding Mississippian as Sonny Montgomery, a great pride to our state, for his immeasurable contributions on behalf of the people of the State of Mississippi and the entire country during his long and distinguished career in public service:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend our friend Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery, the epitome of a life dedicated to the service of others, and congratulate him upon his well-deserved retirement after 30 years of tirelessly representing the interests of our state in the United States House of Representatives.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we do hereby express our heartfelt appreciation to Sonny Montgomery for all that he has accomplished for the people of the State of Mississippi and the United States. Further, we hereby extend to Sonny Montgomery our heartiest wishes for success in all his future endeavors and pray that he will be blessed with many more years of good health, peace, happiness and joy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Congressman G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery and the Capitol Press Corps.