Forty years ago, President Nixon finally succeeded in having Secretary of State Henry Kissinger complete the negotiation for the repatriation of the Vietnam POWs from North Vietnam. On the weekend of May 23rd, for the last time, the surviving Vietnam POW’s solemnly celebrated the 40th anniversary of their release, at the Nixon Presidential Library.
If you have ever read any of the many books published, articles printed in newspapers, or read interviews given by Vietnam POW’s, you will understand that the common thread that helped get them through their very difficult period of captivity was their faith in God, their religious worship away from the eyes of their captors, and the support the Prisoner of War Code of Conduct that was inculcated in them.
Here’s how the Prisoner of War Code of Conduct, Article VI, reads:
“I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.”
The US military tries to instill the Code of Conduct in all US military personnel to remind them of their “character and heritage,” and in order to emphasize to them that as American fighting men and women they have inner strengths to rely on, in face of the mental and physical abuses they will have to endure if they are ever captured. “Character” was emphasized in American’s youth at home each day by parents, by teachers in both public and parochial schools, by the leaders and coaches of the various organizations they belonged (such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, 4H, athletics, etc.), by religious leaders in the churches/synagogues they attended, by service academies where they were instilled with the Honor System/Honor Code and love of country, by boot camp where military indoctrination emphasized the service branch heritage and love of country, and by military leadership training programs for officer and noncoms.
Read More at Joe Miller . By Captain Joseph R. John.