Former commander, prisoner of war tells reservists how will power can be stronger than firepower (James Seehorn)

Only in America can a former convict become a brigadier general.

Former resident of the prison camp known as the Hanoi Hilton, then Capt. James Sehorn never imagined a lifelong relationship with the United States Air Force or rising to the rank of brigadier general. Now retired and living a comfortable life in Georgia, he flew here to visit the Reservists of a wing he commanded from February to December 1990. Sehorn spoke at the 446th Airlift Wing’s commander’s call during the November Reserve weekend.

“This business requires a dedication that cannot be generated out of false loyalties,” said the former F-105 “Thud” fighter pilot. “Look first at yourself. Why do you want it? Do you believe in it? Commit yourself absolutely and don’t take a partial effort. Give it everything you’ve got.”

After 31 years of service and spending more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Sehorn knows what it means to give everything for his service. In fact, after being shot down, captured, and beaten by the Vietnamese, he still refused to disgrace his country.

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