FlagPOWs are heroes.

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.


About jenorv

John E. Norvell is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel, decorated air combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and former Assistant Professor of American and Military History at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has written freelance for the Washington Post, the Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, and for several newspapers around the country.
This entry was posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, F-4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, Veterans, Vietnam War and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to POWs

  1. Jack Trimble says:

    Have not read all your articles but enjoyed the ones I have. I was a WSO in the Panther Pac probably just before you arrived. I was shot down on 27 Dec 72 on the last real day of the air war. LtCol Chris STACK Moehler is currently CC of the 13th at Misawa and has a firey, young captain working for him. (My daughter). Small world.

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