30 November 2006

Vietnam Pow's story

Don’t Forget Us, the POWs — Don’t Forget Us, the POWs is a very special scene, because I made it after I received an anonymous phone call at home after some of my stuff was shown on a local television program, shortly after I got started. Some vet in our area called me to say I was not talking about POWs or MIAs and went on for an hour and a half to describe some of his experiences. Being a prisoner of war is no picnic. You’re tortured daily, you’re beaten daily. They drag you through a village, from village to village, and try to break your morale, try to go against what you believe in, try to show you that you are wrong, killing kids and women, things like that. As the survivors of a Viet Cong ambush, these two men were subjected to inhuman treatment. They were beaten, stripped naked, and paraded through the streets of North Vietnam. The idea was to strip the soldier of his morale, leaving him with guilt. This treatment either strengthened him or broke him. Vets experience great psychological anguish when attempting to describe such experiences because we feel deeply for each other.

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