POW turned motivational speaker at Viterbo University - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

POW turned motivational speaker at Viterbo University

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Capt. Charlie Plumb prior to being shot down over Vietnam Capt. Charlie Plumb prior to being shot down over Vietnam
Capt. Charlie Plumb today Capt. Charlie Plumb today

La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Captain Charlie Plumb, a prisoner of war turned motivational speaker took center stage at Viterbo University Wednesday evening.  

Earlier in the day, the Vietnam veteran shared his unique experience with a group of students at Viterbo.

Charlie was shot down in his F4 Phantom and brought to the Hanoi Hilton where he spent 6 years.  Yet plumb says he's no hero, just a man who avoided mental suicide at the hands of his captors.

Plumb was just 24 then and full of life, newly married and excited to serve his country.   It took about 3 months for Charlie to change his attitude from 'why me' to 'will overcome this',

But this great motivator almost didn't share his story.  

Charlie vowed he would change his name and never talk about it again until an encounter with a man he didn't know in an elevator. "I found myself nose to nose with this guy. Lines in his brow, anguish in his face, and he was crying.  He said, 'Mr. Plumb, you really got to me. I've had a miserable year, my family is falling apart.  I even wondered if I wanted to go on living. You've given me hope'."

Charlie now speaks at venues all over the country.

For more information go to charlieplumb.com

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