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Online Forum: 11.22.00

This is a two-part question. I am a veteran of the US Air Force and currently a high school history teacher. My first question is if there is anything that you would want to say or teach the young kids of today about your experience, what would it be?

Second, if you had children during your experience, what were the reactions and the adjustments they made upon your return?

Thank you for your time in answering these questions.

Kenneth D. Magruder

Answered by Commander Paul Galanti
We live in the greatest country in the world. Sometimes it's tough to remember that - like now. Just remember, in a large number of countries, political problems like the current presidential election would be settled with a gun. We don't do that.

Second, no matter how bad you have it at a given moment, there are many who have it worse...

I didn't have kids before I got captured. I was lucky.

Answered by Colonel Tom McNish
The most important thing to have students take away from the movie is a better appreciation for the things that we have in such abundance and the things that we take for granted. Also, I would hope they gain some appreciation of the importance of personal honor. In our world today, so many people seem to adopt the attitude that if you can get away with it, it is good. Compare our lives today to the lives of those who compromised their honor for the short-term gain. We are SO much better off today than they are!!

I am humbled, and deeply moved by watching the American Experience. No words could express my gratitude for your service to our country. Although many did not come home, I'm so thankful, as are many others that YOU did. My question is... Besides visiting VA Hospitals, is there any other way to reach out to former POW's, even if it's just to lend an ear, or to learn from them? I don't know how to reach them. I think it would be an excellent learning experience for youth church groups too, to know of your experiences and see this movie. I am 47 years old, and although I've read and heard much of this war, your movie touched me in a way I will never forget. Thank you so much for making it. May God bless all of you who served.
Debra Ward

Answered by Commander Paul Galanti
You can visit our website: http://www.nampows.org to learn more about contacting POWs. Go to "Other Interesting Sites for Nam-POWs" the first item is a list of POWs with email addresses and some capture related information including how long they were held. Very kind words. Thank you, Debra.

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