John Borling graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1963, and completed flight training as a fighter pilot in 1964. By 1965 he was flying combat missions in an F-4 Phantom over North Vietnam, and on his 97th mission was shot down in June, 1966. Borling spent the next six and a half years as a POW. After his release, he had a long and distinguished career, including serving as a White House Fellow in the Gerald Ford administration, command of the famed 'Hat in the Ring' Squadron, several higher level commands, and tours at the Pentagon, in Germany, Belgium, the Strategic Air Command and his final assignment in Norway as the Chief of Staff of Allied Forces-North. In 2004, Borling was a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, which was eventually won by Barack Obama.