The Amazing Background Story Behind A Haunting Photograph of A Vietnam POW

They say that a picture says a thousand words. Then there are those photos that have an incredible story behind them. A photo of a man in Vietnam, walking through a rice field with a rope binding his arms is an example of this.

It’s pretty clear that this man is a prisoner. The rope is only just visible, but the militiawoman is guarding him with her bayonet is crystal clear to see. 50 years after this photo was taken, the man still remembers that day.

He remembers that moment as being a breath of relief according to TIME. The man’s name is Dewey Wayne Waddell. Today, he is 82 and has spoken to TIME about the story behind the photo. He once went by Air Force Col. Waddell.

Waddell started by saying “It’s quite a shock when you’re zooming along and then you’re sitting on the ground”.

He described what happened on July 5, 1967, when his plane was shot down on a mission over North Vietnam.

Because his parachute didn’t fully open when he jumped from his plane, it was possible the Air Force would believe that he had died in the fall.

When Waddell was sitting on the ground, the thought running through his mind was that everybody that he sees might be wanting to kill him.

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