On his 80th birthday, David Wheat of Duluth was honored with a proclamation from Mayor Emily Larson declaring Monday as David Wheat Day in the city.

Larson issued the proclamation at City Hall.

"David R. Wheat has earned the admiration and deep respect from the entire Duluth community and has served as a leadership example and mentor to countless individuals," Larson read from the proclamation.

Wheat flew 80 missions in Vietnam in 1965 before he was shot down on Oct. 17 of that year. He was a prisoner of war for more than seven years. Wheat was recognized for his service with a statue that depicts him and commemorates 63 other Minnesotans who were either prisoners of war or missing in action in Vietnam.

The statue can be found at the Commemorative Air Force's Lake Superior Squadron hangar at the Duluth International Airport.

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Wheat's military honors include the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and other awards.