Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sybil Stockdale, R.I.P.

Sybil Stockdale was the wife of the late
Admiral James B. Stockdale, U.S. Navy,
Vietnam War P.O.W. and hero. In her
own right, Mrs. Stockdale was quite
heroic as well.

Sybil Stockdale, 80, went to join her husband
on October 10, leaving a legacy of courage and
steely resolve. While her husband was imprisoned
in Hoa Lo, the North Vietnamese prison camp
better known by the nickname given it by its
U.S. captives, the Hanoi Hilton (where Captain
John McCain, later U.S. Senator and Republican
presidential candidate was also imprisoned), she
campaigned for the end of torture of American
prisoners of war by the communists in North
Vietnam and to make them abide by the rules
of the Geneva Convention regarding the
prisoners. Stockdale helped found the National League
of Families of American Prisoners and Missing
in Southeast Asia, met with president Richard
Nixon to get action on behalf of the POWs,
appeared on TV many times to inform the nation
about their plight, and confronted a North Viet-
namese delegation at the Paris Peace Talks.
All this while the U.S. government discouraged
military wives and other family members from
speaking out about the maltreatment of our
POWs. But this gallant lady would not be deterred,
nor muzzled. And now, this great patriot will be
laid to rest beside her husband at the United States
Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sybil Stockdale showed that when a family has a
member off fighting in a war, the family back home
are combatants as well, especially when the family
member is taken prisoners by the enemy. And that
the family members at home can contribute greatly
to the effort to ensure just treatment of their captured
relations and to the victorious prosecution of the war.
Rest in peace, Madam Warrior. You have done our
country proud.


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