July 3, 2014 - Recently released prisoner of war U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a man I can identify with. On April 20, 1965, I was flying a night combat mission in an A4C Skyhawk over what was then called North Vietnam. My own bombs malfunctioned upon release during a run on enemy trucks. They exploded just below my airplane, blowing the wings and tail section off. Instantly I was in a whirling cockpit hurtling toward Earth, over enemy territory, but managed to eject and parachute to the ground. I spent the next four days on the run through the jungle before being captured. I then spent the next 2,855 days as a captive POW in North Vietnam.
During those years I – and other POWs – endured terrible conditions and periodic torture sessions for political propaganda, public display and false confessions. We each resisted to our individual utmost but ultimately our captors extracted written confessions (ones that we made as improbable and silly as possible) from everyone.
I’ve been asked if I was a POW with U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The answer is no – John McCain was a POW with me. You see, he got there two and a half years after I was captured. read more>>>