The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a former Vietnam prisoner of war, at their weekly luncheon on Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Dick Zeigler of Springfield enlisted in the Army on September 2nd, 1967, and his helicopter was shot down by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam on February 8th, 1968. He spent 5 years as a prisoner of war.
Zeigler hid in the jungles immediately after his helicopter was shot down, but eventually the Viet Cong found him.
Zeigler recounted his numerous prisoner of war camps he was shipped to in his 5 years of captivity, along with his treatment during that time.
Zeigler was one of many who ended up in the “Hanoi Hilton” where all American POW's were housed, and where they were ultimately released when the war ended on March 5th, 1973.
Zeigler's wife died while he was in captivity; he also learned when he got out, that he had a 5-year-old son.
Zeigler re-married and stayed in the military until retiring in 1987.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.