Taylor Encourages Former POWs To Tell War Stories - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/30/04

Taylor Encourages Former POWs To Tell War Stories

"Young Americans need to know just how hard it was for you,"Congressman Gene Taylor says.

Taylor is encouraging these Former POWs to tell their stories so young Americans understand that freedom isn't free.

Some of the former POWs at Saturday's event have already started to share their stories

"I just want everybody to know what went on," Ex-POW James Gautier says.

That's why Gautier wrote a book about his experiences as an American prisoner of war in the Philippines.

"We didn't have any food. They wouldn't allow us to have any water. It was dusty and hot. You couldn't go to the bathroom to relieve yourself. You had to do it while you were walking. You couldn't stop. If you did, they would shoot you," Gautier says.

"Most of the boys were dying in route. Those boys that tried to escape were killed," Ex-POW James Caire says.

Like Gautier, Caire remembers the horrors of walking 99 days in the Philippines not knowing if that day would be his last.

Caire now travels to schools telling his emotional stories to the kids.

"Those children come up to me and say, 'I don't believe it,'" Caire says.

Veterans like Caire and Gautier agree the only people that usually believe the stories were POWs themselves.

"The thing is, they understand what we're talking about. My wife didn't believe what I was telling her when I got back. A lot of fellows won't talk about it, because of the reason that nobody will believe what you tell them anyway," Gautier adds.

Hopefully gatherings like this will help these former prisoners of war open up and get their message out.

By: Jaimee Goad

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