Historical Highlight for September 10, 2023 – “H. Ross Perot—Our Great Supporter & Friend” – here’s a short historical fact from the history of the Vietnam war and the POW experience shared in the new ‘Captured by Love’ book:
“H. Ross Perot, US Naval Academy graduate (1953) and a wealthy businessman in Dallas, became the key supporter of the POW/MIA effort by the wives and families. His initiatives to fly the wives to Hanoi and embarrass the communists were obviously going to be turned back. But he knew it would attract the world press—and it did, serving the cause by putting our captors in a negative light in front of the world.
“He also provided chartered aircraft and covered expenses to fly POW/MIA wives and families to the Paris Peace Talks and other key locations. There they confronted our communist captors about their treatment of POWs, and their failure to identify all of the POWs, KIAs and MIAs of which they were aware.
“When we came home Mr. Perot wrote a check for $250,000 to bring the Son Tay Raiders and the Son Tay POWs and their wives/dates to San Francisco for a ticker-tape parade and a gala dinner. Actors John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and several others attended. We were entertained by songs from the Andrews Sisters and by a 35-minute standup comedy routine by Red Skelton. It was an amazing reunion and a great welcome home.
“Then, shortly after the White House Gala, Ross Perot, W. W. Clements, and about 20 other Dallas business leaders organized a two-day celebration called Dallas Salutes. There was a ticker-tape parade, a large dinner dance, and a celebration concert in the Cotton Bowl attended by more than 30,000 people. And, as you will see elsewhere in this book, one of the key entertainers in that event was Tony Orlando and Dawn singing their number one hit, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.”
“Mr. Perot continued to support the POWs in many ways until he passed 47 years after our return. His son Ross Jr. remains a devoted friend and supporter of our NAM-POW Association.”
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