Next Tuesday is the official publication date of the paperback edition of Surviving Hell: A POW’s Journey by Leo Thorsness, but it is available now from Amazon. I wrote the new introduction for the paperback edition and want to draw attention to the book with a short post each day through next Tuesday. Commenting on my preview of this series last month, before I learned that a glitch at the printer had delayed the original publication date, Lt. Col. Doug Gebhart (USAF, ret.) provided a recent glimpse of the man whose character shines through the book:
I was able to hear Col. Thorsness at the United States Air Force Academy’s National Character and Leadership Symposium a couple weeks ago. He was part of the Medal of Honor Panel with Col. George “Bud” Day and SSgt Salvatore Guinta (one of our newest MoH recipients) and spoke on his own: “Getting Through Tough Times.”
Many things struck me: his smile, humility, fortitude, patriotism, lack of any animosity or bitterness, and just plain military bearing. It still chokes me up to remember the throngs of young cadets lining up to speak to him and have pictures taken with him after each of his talks. He even reunited with some pilots who had tried unsuccessfully to rescue him.
According to my notes on his panel, he talked of the power of “what one person can do to make a difference” and how he lamented that he received so much honor as opposed to the other Vietnam Vets. He is a special man and a national treasure….
Since I wrote about the book yesterday, it has moved up more than 100,000 places in the Amazon rankings. As of yesterday afternoon, before dropping down a bit, it had reached the number three spot in Amazon’s ranking of books about the Vietnam War. Sincere thanks to the Power Line readers who have bought a copy of the book, which you can do through clicking on the image above or on this link.