Vietnam POW honored in Stoughton - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Vietnam POW honored in Stoughton

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STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- He spent six years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, but on Sunday, a former fighter pilot was honored as a hero.

American Legion Post 59 declared it Don Heiliger Day and held a luncheon and program to honor the 30-year Air Force veteran.

On his 31st mission over North Vietnam, Heiliger was shot down, captured by the enemy and put in the infamous Hanoi Hilton.  He was held and beaten there for nearly six years.

"Main thing is that you have to make sure you get through some things," Heiliger told 27 News.  "You're never dealt a good hand a lot of times so you gotta live the best you can and get through it with honor."

Along with a special ceremony, Post 59 also displayed some artifacts from Heiliger's days as a POW, including the cup and spoon he used to eat his daily portion of rice.  They also displayed the many plaques and awards Heiliger received during his career.

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