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Congressman/Former POW Will Talk to Richland Students

 

Media Advisory — Feb. 16, 2007

(DALLAS) — Observing the 34th anniversary this week of his return to Texas from a POW camp in Vietnam, U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson will share his experiences with students at Richland College and Richland Collegiate High School on Monday, Feb. 19, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 103 of Sabine Hall. Johnson, who is talking to students in Donna King’s history class, will discuss his time as a prisoner of war from 1966 to 1973 in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” otherwise known as Hao Lo Prison (or the “hell hole”), Cu Loc ( the “Zoo”) and north Hanoi’s own Alcatraz.

The presentation is open to students and other interested members of the community; news media who would like to cover the talk are asked to arrive 20 minutes in advance so that they can set up before the program begins.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road in Dallas.

A 29-year Air Force veteran and pilot, Johnson served during both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He spent nearly seven years as a POW, enduring more than half of that time in solitary confinement.

Shot down over Quang Binh province in North Vietnam, the Dallas native and SMU graduate marched 21 days through the jungles to Hanoi, where he was beaten, shackled and starved. Medical treatment at the hands of the North Vietnamese for his broken arms became futile when prison guards re-injured him. Moved multiple times to several prison camps, Johnson learned how to use tap code to communicate with other prisoners and was sustained throughout the ordeal with his love for a compassionate God and his patriotism. When he finally returned to Texas in 1973, Johnson was reunited with his wife and children at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, where he said, “It’s the greatest feeling in the world to be back on Texas soil. I want to thank God.”

For more information, contact Whitney Rosenbalm, director of marketing and public relations for Richland College at (972) 238-6023, or Ann Hatch in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs at (214) 860-2478.

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Press contact: Ann Hatch, 214-860-2478