Freed P.O.W.’s Carry Psychic Scars of War (David Matheny)

When Lieut. David Matheny drove home for lunch the other day, he saw that his wife’s car was gone. He turned around and left without even going in.

Lieutenant Matheny was a prisoner of war in North Viet nam for about six months. Most of that time was spent in soli tary confinement, and since he was released four years ago he has tried to avoid empty houses.

Douglas Hegdahl was also a P.O.W., and spent more than seven straight months in soli tary. Back in this country, he found so many people “zooming around in a mad dash” that he sought relief by driving to the desert and camping out. Alone.

More than 500 American prisoners are now held by North Vietnam or by Vietcong guerrillas. What will their lives be like when they return? What problems will they face? What changes have been wrought by such prolonged captivity?

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