TROY — Remember the Vietnam War and 1973? Probably not, but Air Force fighter pilot Captain Guy Dennis Gruters does. After being held as a prisoner of war for five plus years, including time in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, he was repatriated to the U.S. in 1973 along with 591 surviving POWs.
As a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and with a graduate engineering degree from Purdue University, Gruters volunteered for service in that war after extensive training as a pilot.
Isolation, poisonous snakes, giant spiders, torture, starvation, the ongoing smell of feces and urine, Gruters experienced it after being shot down for the second time on Dec. 20, 1967, in North Vietnam and captured.
Recently returned from Vietnam, Gruters will speak at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum monthly meeting at 9 a.m. on June 7, at 2245 South County Rd, 25-A in Troy. Veterans and friends of veterans are invited to attend.
With over 30 combat awards, Gruters will share his story of survival in conditions that would destroy most. He writes, “I was with God and only God besides a few cell mates. To get through five years in a prison camp under horrible conditions was a real journey of faith. I returned to this country a different man. I had grown in my faith. I had learned how to trust God, to love Him, and to forgive others.”
Gruters concludes, “I am now old and have had time to reflect on what is important and what means the most.”