The vulnerability of men serving their country is dramatically recalled in these stories, beginning with two vivid tales of survival at sea. Tales of prisoners of war span five wars, from World War I, with its relatively genteel conditions, to the privations suffered by the men and women who fought the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Iraqis, when civility often took a back seat to expediency and cruelty. In each instance, the prisoner tapped on reserves of fortitude and patience to overcome their captors' brutality.
"I didn't want to end up in the belly of some shark and neither did the other guys." (Audio Interview, Part 2, 5:38)
"I would have been afraid, except that I was so grateful to be alive."
"It's very important to exercise your mind in prison."
"... I pushed the loaf of bread to the center of the table and stated, 'We are all Americans, we don't differentiate by religion.'"
"I wasn't as cocky. It was a pain to go back into battle."
"I was privileged to observe a thousand acts of courage and compassion and love. It is a great honor of my life."
"I could feel the heat of the muzzle, and I said, 'Well this is it.'"
"It seems mine was the death room, each new patient brought in being very sick, no one surviving while I was there."
"I'm probably the only G.I. in the U.S. Army who sunk a warship single handedly."
"Let courage be your password, make fortitude your guide / And then instead of grousing, remember those who died."