"Man's most precious possession, second only to life, is freedom."
Retired Col. Ben Purcell, highest ranking Army POW during Vietnam War, died on Apr 2, 2013. Col Purcell was 85.
Col Purcell was taken... as a prisoner of war by the Viet Cong and spent the next 1,874 days as a POW in Laos - more than 5 years. During that time he escaped twice, but both times was recaptured. He spent much of his time in captivity in solitary confinement, enduring starvation and beatings.
The first words Purcell spoke publicly following his release were reportedly, "Man's most precious possession, second only to life, is freedom."
Rest in peace, sir. Thank you for your service to this great country.