Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Hero Died This Week

I got an e-mail from Chuck and Mary Schantag of the P.O.W. Network that I'd like to share with you.

Subject: A Hero Died This Week

Apparently services will be held about the 29th according to son.

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Colonel Laird Guttersen, USAF (Retired) passed away on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 in Tucson, Arizona due to complications of Parkinson's Disease and Stroke. He was 21 days short of celebrating his 81 birthday. He was born at White Bear Lake, Minnesota on July 4, 1925.

The Colonel served three wars (World War II, Korea, and Vietnam). He survived 1846 days as a Prisoner of War of the North Vietnamese, 27 months spent in solitary confinement. He was captured February 23, 1968 and released with other POWs on March 14, 1973. During his military career, he earned many awards and medals, among them four Purple Hearts.

He was the first returned POW who publicly spoke about the "Live POWS left behind." His commitment to those abandoned by the U.S. Government and to the POW-MIA families caused him to retire earlier than he had originally planned. His last public appearance was at the 18th Annual Nam Jam held on Sunday, October 30, 2005 at Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona. By then, he was in a wheelchair and experienced difficulty with speech. He received a standing ovation from the thousands in attendance-a welcome home long overdue.

The Colonel is survived by his 3rd wife, Jennifer Guttersen, and seven children. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in his memory to:

American Parkinson Disease Association
2033 E. Speedway
Tucson, AZ.
85719

Letters and cards of condolence may be sent to:

Jennifer Guttersen
141 W. Vista Grande Drive
Tucson, Arizona
85704-6034
Telephone: 520-595-1516

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It is really sad to hear about the loss of someone that gave as much for their country as Colonel Laird Guttersen did. I got to hear him speak once several years ago. That was what got me interested/involved in POW/MIA issues. I wish that there was something more that I could do or say. Colonel Guttersen, your mission was successfully completed, Welcome Home. Rest In Peace.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

1 Comments:

Blogger Always On Watch said...

Col. Guttersen's mission was accomplished.

May God hold him in the palm of His hand!

5:19 AM  

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