In a recent episode of Two Mikes, co-hosted by Dr. Michael Scheuer and Colonel Mike, the airwaves resonated with stories of extraordinary resilience and survival as they welcomed Colonel Lee Ellis (ret’d), a combat pilot, Vietnam War veteran, and author of the compelling book, “Captured by Love.” Colonel Ellis, who spent 5.5 years in captivity in North Vietnam, offered a poignant glimpse into the lives of 20 men, fellow prisoners of war, and their families as recounted in his book.
“Captured by Love” is a poignant compilation of memoir-like essays, weaving together personal narratives of Colonel Lee Ellis and his fellow prisoners. The focus is on the return of the last group of POWs from Vietnam in the spring of 1973. These 400 men, predominantly pilots and aircrew, had endured captivity ranging from 5 to 8 years, with an average of 5.5 years.
The heart of the book lies in Colonel Ellis’s presentation of the personal stories of 20 of these returning men and their families. Drawing from their own words and recollections, the book provides an intimate exploration of their experiences, challenges, and triumphs upon returning to the United States. Some faced the heart-wrenching challenge of divorce, only to find love again, while others stayed steadfastly married. Now at an average age of 85, these families reflect on nearly 60 years of shared experiences.
The narratives within “Captured by Love” stand as a testament to the extraordinary resilience of these men and their families. Despite enduring prolonged captivity and torture, the returning POWs managed to subdue their lingering bitterness and build lives marked by love, companionship, and a profound acknowledgment of the interdependence of families.
Colonel Ellis’s book goes beyond mere storytelling; it becomes a source of inspiration, education, and reflection. Each story is accompanied by concise “lessons learned” sections, offering valuable insights and underscoring the strength of the human spirit. The book not only serves as a terrific, heartwarming read but also as an education in the positive possibilities of human nature.
“Captured by Love” emerges as a treasure, not only for its exploration of historical events but also for the lessons it imparts about survival, revival, and the enduring power of love and resilience. Colonel Lee Ellis has crafted an extraordinary narrative that transcends time, making it a compelling read for both the present and future generations.
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