POWs and MIAs honored for service and sacrifice in Bridgeport

By  | 

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Former prisoners of war and those still missing in action were honored for their service and sacrifices, at an event in Bridgeport Friday.

"As you know, the prisoners of war endured the unendurable," Dr. Glenn Snider, director of the Louis A. Johnson V.A. Medical Center in Clarksburg, said in his opening remarks.

The event falls on Former Prisoners of War Remembrance Day, which is recognized nationally.

"To be here at 93 years of age...I appreciate it, I really do," said Charles Brown, who was held captive by Japanese forces for six-and-a-half months during World War II.

He was the pilot of a dive bomber, and in February of 1945, his aircraft was shot down about 20 miles away from Tokyo.

Brown recalled the torture and pain he was subjected to, especially in his first interrogation.

"They asked questions and I tried not to answer, but finally they got me to the point where I thought they were about to kill me," Brown recounted.

And while veterans were the focus of the event, the families of those who suffered were also recognized.

"I think that the parents and friends, when they get that information that someone is missing in action, it's tougher on them than it is on the soldier who is captured," remarked Okla Edgell, who was held captive by German forces during World War II.

"[The soldier] knows what's happening--they don't," he added. "They imagine the worst."

Congressman Evan Jenkins (R) was among the speakers who expressed gratitude to the veterans in the room. You can see 5 News' conversation with him in the video above.