‘They didn’t want to look back’: A fellow POW’s family remembers (Wesley Schierman)

Turning pages of her scrapbook Tuesday, Faye Schierman stopped when she saw a letter dated Sept. 12, 1971.

“I pray you had a grand anniversary Faye,” the letter said. The seven-line note had been impeccably handwritten by her husband, Air Force Maj. Wesley Schierman, during nearly eight years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Since the death of U.S. Sen. John McCain on Saturday, news accounts of his life and legacy have highlighted more than five years he spent as a captive during the Vietnam War. While most Americans can’t imagine what McCain and his family endured, Schierman and her children know all too well — and will never forget.

“It was seven and a half years, almost a decade,” said Schierman, 81, who lost her husband four years ago.

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