The word “hero” is used far too often. So is the word “courage.” In the case of Capt. Eugene “Red” McDaniel, neither word accurately describes the horrors he endured as one of the most brutalized prisoners of war in Vietnam.

When his A-6 Intruder aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam on May 19, 1967, McDaniel was captured and spent six agonizing years as a POW in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison. In the face of unrelenting barbaric and sadistic torture, McDaniel remained a source of hope and strength for his fellow POWs by clinging to his faith in even the darkest of hours.

“There is no feeling quite like knowing you are in a strange country, surrounded by a people who know no rule but death to the enemy,” said McDaniel of his time in captivity. “Still, the one thing they could not take from me was my faith. There were many times in my lonely cell when my victories were known only by me and God.”

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