POW’s story marks Veterans Day (Ronald Lebert)

 Commemorating Veterans Day at the Deuel High School gym Monday, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Lebert recounted his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Lebert, a 1960 graduate of Watertown High School, joined the Air Force in 1965. During his 89th mission, in January 1968, Lebert’s plane was shot down by a heat-seeking missile over North Vietnam.

He recalled how he parachuted into the mountains and was captured, spending five years and two months at the Hoa Lo prison camp during the same time Arizona Sen. John McCain was imprisoned there.

Lebert said he underwent “brutal interrogation methods” but survived by maintaining ties with the other prisoners.

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