Integrity, Courage and Conviction
NDSU Celebrates Veteran’s Day
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 14:11
NDSU celebrated the value of freedom by observing Veteran’s Day with various events last week.
Lt. Colonel Barry Bridger, a Vietnam veteran, spoke about his experiences in one of America’s most brutal wars. Bridger related his experiences as a prisoner of war in northern Vietnam to a packed audience on Nov. 7 in Century Theater.
Bridger exposed the gruesome realities of being in a P.O.W. camp. He stressed that the “price of freedom is high, but the value of liberty is priceless.”
Bridger also ran a small presentation showing the different forms of inhumane tortures meted out to the prisoners in Vietnam during the war. He explained how his plane was shot down during a mission and he spent six hard years in a camp with other loyal American soldiers who would rather break than bend.
The soldiers were not only tortured and threatened, they were also forced to apologize for their actions and help in propaganda. However, as expected of a true American soldier, not a single soldier complied, he said.
Bridger is a highly decorated U.S. Air Force Vietnam War veteran with more than 200 hours of combat flight times during the war.
Bridger was shot down over North Vietnam on Jan. 23, 1967. He was captured by the northern Vietnamese and imprisoned.
For more than six years, Bridger was one of the 350 Americans held at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison, where a fellow captive was U.S. Senator, John McCain.
Bridger spoke about valuing the ideals that America stands for. Taking freedom for granted, some people forget that protection of human rights was a serious responsibility for these soldiers.
NDSU has its own contribution to the American Defense forces with men and women listing in the Marines, National Guard and the Air Force.
Students and community members also had the opportunity to write letters to soldiers at a letter-writing booth organized by NDSU, which saw a huge turnout.
These were letters being written to a unit of Marines that had many NDSU students serving in the Middle East. Many veterans also came out to the booth to compliment these young soldiers and share their experiences with them through letters.