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Intrepid survival in the brutal jungles of Vietnam.......
on April 24, 2003
Special Forces Lieutenant James N. Rowe was sent to Vietnam in 1963 as an advisor with the Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG) to help train the South Vietnamese army. Early on in his tour, Rowe was captured by the Vietcong during a harrowing fire fight and became a prisoner of war for 5 horrible years.
Held deep in Southern Vietnam, Lieutenant Rowe would be confined in bamboo cages with no protection from the elements and suffered continuous bouts of dysentery, beri-beri, and fungus infections throughout his confinement. Medical care was practically non-existent and only became available when it suited his captors needs and whims.
During the initial years of captivity, Rowe would be confined with other Americans at his camp. He and other POW's would be witness to 3 fellow soldiers starving to death while the Vietcong offered no useful assistance to help save lives.
Subjected to years of political indoctrination from camp cadre and propaganda from Hanoi radio broadcasts, Rowe was psychologically tormented and abused. Adding to his further misery was that remaining American captives being held with him were released after 4 years leaving him completely alone and isolated for the remainder of his incarceration.
After several unsuccesful escape attempts, Rowe finally succeded in evading his captors in late 1968 and was rescued after signalling an American helicopter.
Five Years to Freedom is a very graphic account of jungle captivity and all the horrors associated with it. This book is also a story of incredible courage, strength, endurance, and bravery. Very well written and inspirational, this book is perhaps one of the finest accounts of POW captivity ever written.