America’s Heartbreak in the POW Camps of North Korea
The tragedy of war is measured by destruction, death and heartache. In the end politicians
negotiate and the men come home. The seldom talked about tragedy of captivity leaves
deeper scars in the men who survive and their families back home. Prisoners of War
suffer immeasurable humiliation and pain at the hands of their captors. Historically,
the mortality rate for American POWs has averaged 12%. There was one exception, the POWs
held in North Korea from 1950 to 1953 died at a rate of 42%, nearly four times higher
than any other war.
In Letters from a Captive Heart the contrast between the innocence of the early 1950s
in rural Kentucky and the horrific reality of the POW camps is starkly portrayed
as the story travels back and forth from the Land of the Morning Calm to the Heartland
of America. Near the end of each chapter a letter or form of correspondence brings
the heartache and desperation of the characters into perspective. Only a small fraction
of the book deals with the combat of war. The real story takes place in the POW camps
of North Korea and back home in America. The heart breaks for the story’s main characters
as they struggle to survive.