Colonel Fred V. Cherry, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Ex-POW, Vietnam

“My seven and a half years as a prisoner of war (POW) in North Vietnam will always have an impact on my life. I survived the pain, torture, isolation, loneliness, and hopelessness through my faith in God, family, country, fellow prisoners, and self. I relied on my Christian faith to get me through the toughest times. I was thankful for my Christian upbringing and the values which I had been taught by my family, elders, and teachers. When all hope seemed to fade and creep away, my faith would grasp the fading hope and reel it back within my reach. Without the sound values deeply imbedded in me, my performance as an American fighting man in the hands of the enemy would have been miserable and so would my ability to face myself in a mirror today.

“We must continue to teach our young people the sound values which have been the foundation for all great people and nations. Our youth are our future, and the survival of our nation will depend on their leadership. We must develop leaders with unwavering character, integrity, honesty, moral character, and love. Young Americans—have faith, set your goals high, and aspire to be the best that you can be. Build your foundation on the values that have made great men, women, and nations.”