Former Vietnam POW reflects on POW/MIA Recognition Day

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Amid the 980 straight weeks of veterans meeting at Monument Terrace, Friday is a special one for David Harker.

“'Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.' And that’s what I experienced," said Harker.

Friday marks POW/MIA Recognition Day.

Harker himself spent five years of his life - from 1968 to 1973 - as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

As flags flew Friday in honor of those like him, he says the day is an opportunity to honor prisoners of war and those who never returned.

“Well, it brings back a lot of memories of course. I’ve been able to deal with them over the years. But just a time to remember and to bring attention to the issue," said Harker.

Harker says one of the biggest things that got him through Vietnam was his faith.

Having to bury nine men in his time overseas, he says having a core belief got him through.

“I just had a close communication with God. I talked to him. Those lessons that Jesus taught when he walked this earth, I try to exemplify them - live them as best I can," said Harker.

Now back at home, he says the strength of our country comes from every person within it.

“But I believe those Christian ideals are in the Constitution that make us so strong. Our strength as Americans doesn’t lie in some nuclear weapon - it lies in the hearts and minds of people," said Harker.

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