(October 14, 2009) -- Retired Lieutenant Colonel Barry Bridger, USAF, who spent six years as a Prisoner of War when he was shot down over North Vietnam, will share his life-changing experience in Vietnam’s “Hanoi Hilton” prison during the talk, “Trust, Valor, and an American Fighter Pilot,” at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 28, in the DeSales University Center. The talk by Bridger is part of the DeSales Character U Program.
The event is open to the public free of charge, but space is limited so advance registration is required. Anyone interest in attending should contact Wendy Krisak, assistant director of counseling and coordinator of Character U at DeSales or call 610-282-1100, ext. 1462.
For more than six years, Bridger, a decorated airman, was one of about 350 Americans held captive at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton” prison, where a fellow POW included U.S. Senator John McCain. The presentation by Bridger will focus on how he and his fellow POW’s faced psychological and physical punishment, such as solitary confinement, and worked together to survive their years of imprisonment. He will share how the POW experience has helped him assess what is truly important in his life.
The Character U Program at DeSales is designed to facilitate the adjustment, development, and success of first-year students through the acquisition of Salesian character traits: gentleness, humility, patience, and love of knowledge. Programming throughout the year reflects such character traits through keynote speakers, diverse programs, campus events and meetings with peer mentors. As part of the Character U Program, the talk by Bridger will integrate Character U’s October traits, trust and cooperation.
Bridger is a graduate 1963 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant through the ROTC program. Upon completing undergraduate pilot training in 1964, Bridger was assigned to the 43rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida where he flew F-4 Phantoms.
He accumulated more than 200 combat flying hours and conducted over 70 combat missions over North Vietnam. In January 1967, Bridger was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the city of Son Tay, North Vietnam. He was subsequently captured by the North Vietnamese and spent six years in prison. Bridger was released in March 1973 and served as an instructor pilot in Air-to-Ground Combat upon his return to the United States.
Bridger retired from the United States Air Force in October 1984 after 22 years of service and was honored with many awards and decorations, including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with Valor, two Purple Hearts, two Meritorious Service Medals, five Air Medals and the Prisoner of War Medal.
For more information on this or any Character U event, please contact Wendy Krisak, assistant director of counseling and coordinator of Character U at DeSales, at 610-282-1100 ext. 1462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press Release: Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, USAF (Ret), To Discuss Vietnam POW Experience Wed., Oct. 28, at DeSales Character U Event | Posted on: 10/14/2009
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu