By Austin Eck— Alton Meyer, retired U.S. Air Force, is originally from Fredericksburg, and like many men, he served his country in the Vietnam War.
On April 26, 1967, Meyer was captured, and he became a prisoner of war. During this time he was moved from camp to camp. At one point, he shared a cell with 56 other POWs. On March 4, 1973, 5 years, 10 months and 6 days after he was captured, he was freed.
On May 24, 1973, President Richard Nixon and the First Lady welcomed the recently freed POWs to the White House for dinner and entertainment. With the likes of Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr. and John Wayne attending, the night was joyous despite the heavy rain that forced everyone under tents.
“Quite a moving experience,” Meyers said when reflecting on the night.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the night, the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. hosted a reunion for the former POWs.