Scars, Stripes and heroes

Captain Eugene “Red” McDaniel

We’re always looking for heroes. Our books and movies are full of people who discover their secret powers to avenge evil and save the world. The word Hero is used far too often and too easily in today’s world. But in the case of our special guest today, you are going to hear a story of courage and inspiration. Navy Captain Eugene “Red” McDaniel had some astonishing experiences during the Vietnam War, as one our America’s most brutalized prisoner of war.

After his A6A jet was shot down in the skies of Vietnam, McDaniel would be captured and spend six agonizing years as a POW in the notorious ‘Hanoi Hilton.’  Despite the sadistic and barbaric ways his captors tortured him, McDaniel remained a source of hope and strength to his fellow POW’s by clinging to his faith in God in even the darkest of hours. Classified as “missing in action” until 1970 when the Hanoi government ultimately acknowledged he was being held prisoner, Red McDaniel remained a POW for more than six years.


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Upon his release on March 4, 1973, Capt. McDaniel was awarded the Navy’s highest honor for bravery, the Navy Cross, along with  two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars and Combat “V,” and two Purple Hearts for wounds he received at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors.

Today, Eugene ‘Red’ McDaniel is president of the American Defense Institute, a non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C., an organization he founded to increase public awareness of the need for a strong national defense. His book, Scars and Stripes: The True Story of One Man’s Courage Facing Death as a POW in Vietnam, has just been re-released.

 

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