Prisoner of War tells his story
Sat, 10 Nov 2012 01:24:07 GMT —
A chance to honor those who have served in each branch of the armed forces.
Every service member that has put their life on the line in combat has their own personal account of what they endured.
But for one local soldier in particular, cossing enemy lines was more than he bargained for. Former army specialist and prisoner of war, Edgar Hernandez said, "I still remember everything like it happened yesterday.
Back in 2003, Hernandez and a small group of 33 soldiers riding in a convoy in iraq got lost.
Sensing their vulnerability, the enemy attacked.
It was chaos. I lost 12 friends that day on March 23rd, and seven Americans were captured, said Hernandez. I was one of the 7."
For three weeks Hernandez and that group of seven were kept in an Iraqi compound and deemed prisoners of war.
He said during those grueling 21 days, they endured humiliation, beatings and torture.
"My goal each day was to be alive, said Hernandez. You know, because at any moment, the enemy could take my life away."
It was a message to the marines that ended the search for the missing soldiers.
A rescue mission, a long trip home via Germany to the states landed him back here.
"When I came home, I was not the same anymore, said Hernandez. I came to the states and everything was different. I saw life in a different way."
Hernandez said he was now extra thankful for everything, from clean streets to the food we eat.
But in particular, The freedom we enjoy on a daily basis.
Now he believes passing on his wisdom, knowledge and experience to the future of servicemen and leaders our country is an essential key in continued success.
"I was in their shoes once and I didn't know a lot of things, said Hernandez. I know now and it takes someone to teach them."
You can honor those who have served our country on Sunday Nov. 11.
There are various events going on around the valley to commemorate their service.