July 9, 2003
George Bush and G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery may no longer be in office, but the former president still thinks highly of Mississippi's former 3rd District congressman.
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966, Montgomery represented the 3rd District for 15 terms and served under seven presidents. "Sonny Montgomery: The Veteran's Champion" offers a look at nearly 40 years of public life.
Advocacy for veterans, the lodestar of Montgomery's career, came from personal experience and conviction.
In 1945, he helped capture a German machine gun nest and earned the Bronze Star for Valor. With self-effacing humility he recalls in the book his World War II experience and his return to duty in Korea.
Among many accomplishments, he ranks as his most outstanding the time he rallied the votes to pass the bill named for him The Montgomery G.I. Bill. The bill, which overhauled the original 1947 legislation, extended benefits to thousands of soldiers in the nation's all-volunteer service.
Montgomery lives in Meridian and Washington, D.C., where he is still an active veterans' advocate.
The book is written with Michael B. Ballard, coordinator of the Congressional and Political Research Center at Mississippi State University, and Craig S. Piper, an archivist at the Congressional and Political Research Center at MSU.
Book: "Sonny Montgomery: The Veteran's Champion"
How to order: Available in stores
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
The price: $24.99
Book signing: Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus Kahlmus Auditorium, 1000 Highway 19 N. Call 484-0226. Books must be purchased at MSU-Meridian Campus beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday. Signing will be limited to 250 people. No refunds will be given. No photographs or memorabilia will be signed.
If you are a Mississippi author and would like your book featured in this column. Send book and background information to Penny Randall, The Meridian Star, P.O. Box 1591, Meridian, MS 39302; call: (601) 693-1551 or e-mail: