‘We made it:’ Local Vietnam veteran shares his POW story (Wayne Smith)

1,882 days; five and a half years. That’s how long Vietnam veteran Wayne Smith was a prisoner of war.

“We were in pretty bad shape, we certainly were,” said Smith.

He shared his story with us and dozens of people at Punta Gorda’s Military Heritage Museum.

The Air Force captain’s aircraft got shot down in 1968, just hours after this photo.

Now, he’s detailing his time in solitary confinement when communication was rare, but crucial.

“We used to break our knuckles by tapping on the walls and someone found out that actually, you could put the cup up against the wall, yell through it, and the other guy could listen to the other side,” said Smith.

Captured one warehouse over: prisoner of war survivor, Senator John McCain.

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