Lance Sijan was always a special kind of person: as a kid growing up in the Midwest; as a cadet who made his mark in the Air Force Academy. But it took Vietnam to show how special he wasin an epic of jungle survival and prison-camp defiance.
On the night of November 9, 1967, Sijan was ejected from his crippled fighter-bomber over the steep mountains of Laos. Although critically injured and virtually without supplies, he evaded capture in savage terrain for six weeks. Finally caught and placed in a holding camp, he overpowered his guards and escaped, only to be captured again. He resisted his interrogators to the end, and he died two weeks later in Hanoi. His courage was an inspiration to other American prisoners of war, and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.