Return With Honor “Return With Honor” is a documentary about many brave Air Force pilots who were taken as P. O. W. ‘s (prisoners of war) in the Vietnam war.
The documentary shows the viewpoints of the pilots as they were kept as prisoners in Hanoi, North Vietnam in the last 9 years of the Vietnam war. The documentary starts out with the pilots going through training camp. Each person has to take a class where they learn everything about the aircraft that they will be controlling and what to do in certain scenarios that would require them to act on their feet.The training camp focuses on increasing the pilots mental awareness hill putting them under pressure for the majority of the time. On top of the classroom environment, the privates are required to go through a boot camp where they are pushed to their physical limits while keeping their mental composure. Video footage shows a drill sergeant yelling at a private to “throw dirt on your head”. This was probably to help protect the privates from explosions or other harmful situations. Unfortunately, not every private makes it through boot camp, many cannot handle the physical and mental abuse and drop out before the end.
The ones that do graduate finally learn how to fly fighter Jets. Some of the pilots that are interviewed explain to the viewer how good it feels to fly a Jet. They describe the amount of throttle that they control and how they can use it however they want. They describe flying fighter Jets as an art; being able to free fall and maneuver through the sky at free will is an indescribable feeling for people who have never flown before. After they explain their days in training, the pilots go into discussing the war they fight in. They say how they know that the war is a lost cause but they fight anyways to defend their country.The documentary shows the address that president Lyndon B. Johnson gave to let the American population know that he was sending the Air Force into Vietnam.
What President Johnson did not think about when making the address is that the Vietnamese would figure out their plans and plan accordingly for their arrival. On the day that they take off for North Vietnam, the pilots understand that the Vietnamese are aware of when and where they are coming in, and that this mission is practically a suicide mission. But an order is an order and they were ready to put up a fight. On the flight over to North Vietnam the pilots prepared for the worst. T Lieutenant Leroy Stout begins to pray, “God I don’t want to die here and nobody know it. ” His words spoke for every pilot that was on that mission. Minutes after they reached Vietnam they began to be shot at by Vietnamese infantry. One by one the pilots were shot out of the sky, each landing in different areas of the Jungle.
Majority of these pilots were captured on September 4, 1966. However, the very first pilot captured was 1st Lieutenant Everett Olivarez, he was captured on August 5, 1964. Straight at them. They were all tied up and sent into local towns where angry lagers met them.The villagers were told not to kill the pilots. Instead, the pilots would be displayed in front of the village, and villagers would take turns throwing rocks, spitting, and poking them with sharp bamboo sticks.
The pilots were eventually taken into captivity where they were tortured. The Vietnamese army discovered that tying ones hands together and raising them as far behind their head as possible was the most painful thing you could experience without passing out. Most of the time this torture technique dislocated the shoulders and elbows of many pilots. The Vietnamese would interrogate the pilots on top of the torturing.The Vietnamese wanted the pilots to sign a paper saying that America has no purpose in being their country, but if the pilots complied with this, they would feel like they were letting their country down. The pilots created a sort of communication that involved a series of tapping and noises that the Vietnamese soldiers never caught on to. Two men that had never met in their life felt like they were best friends after a couple of weeks of tapping on the wall to each other. After so much time in solitude, the pilots started losing their minds and started to go crazy.
It got so bad for one of the pilots that the only thing to get his mind off of things was to start exercising in his prison cell. After 8 years of prison confinement, the pilots were told that the war was over and that they were to be released in the next 30 days. The pilots did not show too much excitement until they were on the plane heading home.
The film had more meanings behind it than one might think. It is not Just about men who suffered as P. O.
W. ‘s during the Vietnam war. It should also send a message to the viewers.
The message is that life is not as tough as it could be.The everyday things that we think are “crisis” are merely little problems in our lives. 1st Lieutenant Everett Olivarez explains it perfectly towards the end of the film. He asks the viewer if we think our problems are really problems, then he invites the viewer to spend a day in what he went through for 8 years.
He also goes on to tell the viewer to appreciate the fact that we have good health and freedom and we should be very thankful for that. Throughout the film, I can honestly say that I do not admire one person specifically. Really, I could not see anyone picking one person out of the many brave pilots to admire.They were all very admirable in every single way. Their mental focus throughout their captivity is astonishing to anybody that ever watches this film. I could not imagine ever being put in their situations and being able to take it for more than a day as opposed to their 8 years in it. In conclusion, Return with Honor is a film with much more meaning to it than Just a documentary about pilots that are held captive during the Vietnam war.
Instead, it teaches the viewer to be thankful and appreciative for the privileges and blessings we are given and that we should never take those things for granted, because you