Honoring a Local Veteran: Meet Michael & Ruth Lane

It was nearly 54 years ago, in 1966, when retired Air Force pilot, Col. Michael Lane was shot down in North Vietnam.

He spent 2,270 days (nearly six and a half years) living in the Hoa Lo Prison camp, better known as the “Hanoi Hilton.”

His first experience was being confined to a 6 x 8 cell. He prayed a lot. It was a time he will never forget.

“Many didn’t make it back home,” Michael said. “I feel like I was blessed to have survived this. I’m extremely grateful for the life I have lived and to have served my country.”

Michael and his wife, Ruth, of nearly 48 years, now make their home in the Indian River Colony Club in East Viera.

More than five decades after his capture and release back to freedom, the story of his journey to and from Vietnam, and his life after, is one he said he is humbled to share.

“I was shot down on December 2, 1966, and got married on December 1, 1973-so December is one month I cannot forget,” he said with a smile. I think we chose the first day of the month to marry because I was a little superstitious,” he laughed.

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