Interviewing a Vietnam Prisoner of War

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Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well. Sunday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day here in the U.S. I want thank all of the veterans out there for their service, including my grandfather, boyfriend and fellow blogger/friend, Jim.  

It was an honor to interview retired army captain Mr. Isaac “Ike” Camacho, the first prisoner of war to escape his camp in Vietnam after 21 months. Mr. Camacho was captured on Nov. 22, 1963 with three others at Camp Hiep Hoa. He and the others were forced to march 93 miles to the Cambodian border. Camacho was nearly starved to death by Viet Cong soldiers. He was often forced to eat their leftovers. He was caged, shackled and exposed to the powerful Agent Orange herbicide as a POW. He was forced to eat rats, cockroaches, crickets and even elephant and monkey. 

“They usually gave us the fat part of the monkey. We weren’t starved to death, but they gave us the worst of the worst. I almost lost my life in the cage. I caught malaria, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome.” “I went through a lot.”

Camacho escaped the camp on July 9, 1965. He escaped during a monsoon by slipping through the bars of his cage. He hid in the jungle for four days until he reached U.S. forces. 

He was honored by President Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush. His story is told in “Isaac Camacho, An American Hero” by Billy Waugh. To read more of my story, click here. Take care everyone and I’ll see you soon!

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Photo from UT Austin, Google Search

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