retired Army Colonel William ReederHighly decorated retired Army Colonel William Reeder gave the club a small but profound glimpse into his harrowing year as a POW in Viet Nam. This humble man, who prefers to be called Bill, endured unimaginable physical and mental hardships as the last American taken captive in the Viet Nam war. After being shot down near Ben Het and evading the enemy for three days with a broken back and a shrapnel wound to his foot, he was captured and caged in the jungle before enduring a three-month death march, without shoes, on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He walked step by step, nearly perishing, to a “regular prison,” where he stayed for months with terrible injuries and multiple diseases. 

In writing his book that Naval Institute Press published last year, he agonized over reliving every detail, asking himself, “Why am I doing this? Who will read it?” His wife provided the answer: Because it is motivational and inspirational. He speaks from the heart of the value of talking to others about experiences of returning from captivity, and how it helps one’s mental state. This summary does not do justice to Bill or his book, as the depth and scope of his resiliency changes those who meet him.