Who was Colonel Nick Rowe? He was first and foremost a Special Forces Officer. He was a West Point graduate. He was a former POW, having suffered for five years at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors before escaping and making his way back to US forces on his own. He was a teacher in that he founded and taught the U.S. Army Special Forces Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Program which trains military of all branches how to survive if they are separated from their forces, how to evade the enemy and make their way back to friendly forces, how to resist the enemy if captured, and how to plan an escape. He was a devout Christian. He was a real live hero of our times who became a living legend in the Special Forces community until his untimely assassination by guerilla insurgents in the Philippines.
I met Nick shortly after he was recalled to active duty in 1981 for the purposes of developing and operating the US Army Special Forces SERE Program at Fort Bragg, NC. I had read all about his experiences as a POW in his book "Five Years To Freedom". I wasn't sure what to expect when I was introduced to him, I guess maybe I expected a "John Wayne' type, but instead I was pleasantly surprised by a soft spoken gentleman who had one goal, one mission and that was to better prepare our military to prevent them from ever being captured and should that fail, prepare them to resist and escape capture. I liked him immediately.
The Vietnam Years
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