Porter Halyburton: Reflections on Captivity

May 10, 2023, 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Author of recently released, Reflections on Captivity, Porter Halyburton will share little known stories, recite selections of his prison poetry and tell us the life lessons he learned while spending over seven years in prisoner of war camps in North Vietnam. Shot down NE of Hanoi, in October 1965, Porter was released in 1973 and was one of 687 American POWs and 2646 MIAs.

A Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 1965 until 1973, Porter Halyburton believes those 7 ½ years were not wasted.   Porter shares the valuable lessons he learned in captivity with many civic, government, educational, religious, and corporate groups. These lessons include:  the significance of choices made under difficult circumstances, the importance of communication in forming a unified and well-functioning community, and the freedom of forgiveness.


His story has been told in many publications including Bloods by Wallace Terry, Parade Magazine, Two Souls Indivisible by James Hirsch and on PBS’s Frontline.   His own book, Reflections on Captivity, published by the Naval Institute Press, was released November 15, 2022.


His many awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, and seven Air Medals.


He is from Davidson, NC, a graduate of Sewanee Military Academy, Davidson College (BA), University of Georgia (MA), and the Naval War College. He holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Rhode Island and Greensboro College.  Porter retired as Commander, U.S. Navy in 1984 and as Professor of Strategy Emeritus from the Naval War College in Newport, RI, in 2006.  Besides writing, Porter is an avid potter and woodworker.  Porter and his wife Marty reside in Greensboro, NC.  They have three adult children.


May 10

6 pm



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