Let me repeat that in case there is any doubt: POWs are heroes .
This subject has been in the news a lot recently. I have written in the past of my association, after the Vietnam War, with several men who were taken prisoner and kept in Hanoi.
Most Americans will never experience what they went through. All aircrew members were given a small taste of it before heading off to SEA during the Vietnam War.
The training, called SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape), taught the basic survival skills of how to deal with bailing out over a wilderness area: land navigation, camouflage, communication techniques, and how to improvise needed tools and equipment. But since the U.S. was in the middle of a major air war in Vietnam, it also included a mock POW camp to prepare aircrew members for the possibility of capture.
Many of the POWs who returned have written in their memoirs about the techniques that they used to communicate and survive the long, dark days in the Hanoi Hilton. They learned them in this training.
Were these men perfect? No many were flawed but they kept the faith.
And it is important that Americans keep faith with them now.
The men who went off to War in Vietnam did it with little or no concern for themselves and they did it with their eyes wide open.
They knew what they were getting into, yet they did their duty.
It was a very selfless thing to do.
I can think of no better definition of a hero.