WHO: WACO Historical Society
WHAT: Aviation Lecture Series
WHERE: WACO Air Museum, 1865 South County Road 25A, Troy, Ohio 45373
WHEN: Thursday, December 15th–doors open at 6:30 p.m., presentation 7 – 8:30 p.m.
CONTACT: Nancy Royer, 937-335-9226
Heroic Love A story of forgiveness by a 5 year Vietnam POW
On Thursday night, December 15th, Vietnam fighter pilot and POW, Guy Gruters, discusses the heroics of others as well as how he turned hate to love, despair to hope, fear to courage and bitterness into forgiveness during his five year and three month stay as a POW in Vietnam. Guy has given speeches and testimonials throughout the US and around the world, as well as numerous television appearances. To this day he continues in his quest to bring “Heroic Love” to the world through his presentations.
He flew over four hundred combat missions in Vietnam, first flying low-level combat missions in the O-1 over South Vietnam, assisting the ground troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade by directing fighter strikes on the enemy forces. Then he volunteered to serve in a top-secret MISTY Squadron, which flew low level flights in F-100s for the purpose of finding and directing other fighter aircraft to the targets on the ground in North Vietnam.
As a result of the extensive anti-aircraft fire involved, he was shot down twice over North Vietnam. The second time, December 20, 1967, he was captured and spent the next five years as a POW in six different POW camps, twice kept in the famous Hanoi Hilton.
At home preparing for Christmas for their two little girls, his wife Sandy was visited by an Air Force Captain who informed her that her husband had been shot down again and his well-being was not yet known. On December 25, Sandy was once again visited by the same Captain and informed that Guy had been taken prisoner.
While in the camps, Guy relied on his faith to see him through his darkest moments, including finally being able to forgive the guards that had killed his friend, Lance Sijan.
He was finally freed from the prison camp when his brother, Terry, and others flew in a major series of air strikes in December, 1972, called Linebacker II. This campaign, later known as The Christmas Bombing Campaign, was what brought the North Vietnamese to their knees and lead to a peace agreement.
Guy Gruters was responsible for saving many lives and won significant combat awards including two Silver Stars and two Distinguished Flying Crosses for risking his life to save his fellow countrymen and South Vietnamese civilians.
Plan to make this great story of Heroic Love part of your Christmas season….a time to focus on something of true importance. This presentation will be held in the Willis Wing of the WACO Air Museum at 1865 South County Road 25A in Troy, OH. While the event is free and open to the public, tickets need to be secured by calling WACO Air Museum at 937-335-9226. The WACO Aviation Lecture Series is sponsored in part by Dayton Power and Light Corporation. Please visit www.wacoairmuseum.org for details.