The Northland Veterans Service Committee says it’s raised enough money to build a statue to David Wheat, a Duluth man held for more than seven years in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp.
“He’s a living testament to the human spirit,” John Marshall of the committee tells the Duluth News Tribune. “To survive what he did is not something most people can fathom.”
Wheat was held in Hoa Lo Prison, the notorious “Hanoi Hilton,” after his jet, in which he was a radar intercept officer, was shot down. The pilot was injured when they ejected and he later died.
Wheat’s imprisonment was among the longest of the war.
When he came home in 1973, Duluth turned out to welcome its son, whose graciousness then has been mirrored now. He was given the option to have his statue portray him in his uniform, but he’s decided he’ll appear in his POW garb to honor all of the war’s POW/MIA.