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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Former POW: Pride, patriotism greatest assets

 
 

Former prisoner of war and retired Air Force Col. Edward L. Hubbard urged listeners Tuesday to go above and beyond what they believe they are capable of doing.
“No matter what you’ve done in your life, you’ve only scratched the surface of what you’re capable of doing as a human being,” he said.
Hubbard spoke to more than 100 people at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Orientation Theater.
Hubbard’s speech was part of the Bush Museum Issues Forum that took place at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Hubbard was a POW in North Vietnam for six years, seven months and 12 days, from July 20, 1966, to March 4, 1973. He said the first few months were the worst.
“Sit down, face the wall and feel sorry for yourself for the next 150 days,” Hubbard said. “That’s how the first five months of prison were, and it nearly cost me my life.”
Hubbard urged listeners to close their eyes for several minutes as he described his surroundings in prison. Hubbard said he stayed in a six-by-six foot cell and took in only 300 calories a day.
He said the POWs were afraid to talk because they feared they would be killed.
Hubbard said that if people instill small changes in their lives and the lives of others everyday then together everyone can change the world.Teamwork, he said, is the most underused free resource.
“Competition gives your life meaning and makes you more productive,” Hubbard said. “You have no idea of your mental and physical capacity.”
Hubbard said that by the end of his imprisonment he could do 300 push-ups nonstop, and he learned a 46-verse poem by tapping in prison code on the walls.
A positive attitude, he said, will help everyone to become leaders in their community.
Hubbard encouraged everyone to stand and sing “God Bless America” as loudly or as softly as they wanted.
“Personal pride and pride for your country,” Hubbard said, “are the greatest assets you have.”

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