Former Vietnam POW reflects on Hanoi Hilton
Reveals secret survival strategy
- Duration 4:27
- Date Feb 28, 2013
Reveals secret survival strategy
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They called it than the Hanoi Hilton sarcastically of course -- miserable prison.
In north Vietnam where American soldiers were held captive during the Vietnam War.
It was a place of torture and solitary confinement in many cases a tiny window like this was a prisoners only window to the world.
But even on the darkest days are American soldiers still found a way to keep the faith.
They communicated with each other using a top secret code they could be tapped on the walls this year words phrases and even poetry.
Retired air force major general John -- spent six and half years locked up.
In that prison he didn't see his daughter grow up until -- seven house but his commitment to his country never changed.
Now he's the author of taps on the walls homes.
From Hanoi Hilton and he's my guest this morning that distinction -- hard push through refute I gave a brief historical perspective.
Of this amazing time period in your life.
It was long ago and far away but those -- future reference and pros are mentally.
Composure and kept memorized over those many years kept -- through walls or later retrieval -- per bushel my wife would have legacy.
Because -- -- up there I was sure part of look.
Fortunate -- that came out in February 40 years ago and I guess it was about time to have published -- and so.
And conflict -- no personal my wife and I just flooded with encouragement or to do it and and I'm pleased that we do.
You say that there is a downside to Dallas.
To revisiting a terrible time in your life well if you don't go back without some caution and I'm a big guy and believing that you move forward in life so.
Stories from back then in fact.
Are relevant today -- the themes so of those particular.
Pros and vote for people were meant after McCann left make you -- -- make you think and -- some.
Introspection that's a little painful but most of -- so looking forward so give our viewers a sense of the kind of poetry in the messages that you weren't -- -- inconspicuous way you hoped to unless you've got a -- -- other prisoners a lot of frequent your messages well we've personal and at a chain of command we needed to.
Let people know we were alive past the names back and forth.
And then you had to keep your mind active you had to make time and allies you have to run.
A race that had an on certain.
And and Mike is one of the tools like huge because I have little liberal arts background.
That exposure to these things was to -- was to create person to do it.
Up front Elizabethan son of some.
And all the things rhyme schemes salute something easy to pick -- like looking at -- picture so you don't have to.
Read something and I think I've ordered the safety and also an authoritative feel like a dummy on some of that stuff and my stuff is -- -- For the hard workers a couple levels.
Down but it's meant to be uplifting judgment to be.
Personal introspection so here's the amazing thing after six and a half years now when you are released you -- court.
This poetry head right out right away and and you know at a tape recorder -- it's all you heard that story that's in the Bucher wanna wanna would be next on the bath -- to go to.
Reels from playing this -- -- -- one of those from the guy gave me this shoe box look and thing.
And it was a cassette recorder and ownership and -- radio and you know and social future -- took over after.
Pictures and they -- But it was so Smart of you to do that because then it was part.
Of your legacy and your history and had it and -- taps on the Walsh.
I'm very indebted to the Pritzker military library for.
We're back in the hand if you will on this from the do -- great -- telling the story of the solutions -- from Chicago.
But it's a piece of my soul -- -- -- on the walls would be something of people would -- gently.
Piece of your -- so aptly.
What I know the fortieth anniversary is coming up and you you plan to have a reunion -- you don't often do there -- others were reunions and but I think all of us are so busy with our own lives you're young most of the guys keep marching keep going forward and what we're gonna recruit mix and what president making welcome home party an actual library and bail out in California and my wife went over going out to -- General John Borland of people should check out this book and get a little bit of a glimpse into what you went through and how you survive those six and half years it's called taps on the walls homes.
The Hanoi Hilton thanks much much for much.