Vietnam POW visits Trail of Honor with lingering memories of war - - Jackson, MS

Vietnam POW visits Trail of Honor with lingering memories of war


A Vietnam War POW makes his first trip to the Trail of Honor in Jackson and an important exhibit for retired Lt. Colonel John Yuill is the Vietnam Veteran's Traveling War Memorial which bears the names of more than 58,000 fallen military personnel.

"That sound of a two bladed helicopter, that wop wop sound is distinctive," said Yuill.

For the retired Lt. Colonel the sound of the Huey helicopter taking off at the Trail of Honor takes him back in time.

To the Vietnam War and where he served as Aircraft Commander of a B-52 when he was captured in December of 1972.

He was held for three and a half months southeast of Hanoi before being released.

"That is the one thing that takes me back mentally to Vietnam because that was a helicopter war in Vietnam. Everywhere you went helicopters," said the 81 year old.

The Fort Worth Texas resident is one of the honored veterans attending the event which includes the Vietnam Veteran's Traveling Memorial Wall.

"I've had the opportunity to meet three medal of honor winners who are also here. A Code Talker, Navajo Indian who was a Code Talker in World War II and also a gentleman who survived the Batann Death March," said Yuill.

He however remains disappointed with the reception his fellow servicemen received upon returning to the U.S. from Vietnam.

According to the retired military serviceman, he and other POW's were treated like heroes while most were not respected for the service to their country. 

"It still bothers me to this day that so many of those guys that did their thing, served their tour and came back and were yelled at and humiliated by people was just, it just really still upsets me to this day," added Yuill.

But this day in Jackson Mississippi, reflecting on the history of America's wars, the former Air Force member, is moved by the tribute.

"The size and the support that comes from the City of Jackson and this Harley Davidson owner and everybody in the community seems to be supporting this," said Yuill. "You can just look around and see the number of people that are here and the enthusiasm".

The Trail of Honor is opened through Sunday.

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