Area briefs



Saturday Night Live offered

TROY — The Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch is offering a Saturday Night Live Event on Saturday, Dec. 3 for youth in first through sixth grade. This will be a fun filled night with swimming, gym games, a bounce house, and a movie. Pizza and lemonade will be served during the movie time. Drop off begins at 7 p.m. and pick up is at 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $10 for members and $16 for non-members.

Register at the Robinson Branch or at 440-9622. For more information, contact Jaime Hull at 440-9622 or

POW to speak

TROY — On Thursday, Dec. 15, Vietnam fighter pilot and POW, Guy Gruters, discusses the heroics of others as well as how he turned hate to love, despair to hope, fear to courage and bitterness into forgiveness during his five year and three month stay as a POW in Vietnam.

Gruters has given speeches and testimonials throughout the US and around the world, as well as numerous television appearances. To this day he continues in his quest to bring “Heroic Love” to the world through his presentations.

He flew more than 400 combat missions in Vietnam, first flying low-level combat missions in the O-1 over South Vietnam, assisting the ground troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade by directing fighter strikes on the enemy forces. Then he volunteered to serve in a top-secret MISTY Squadron, which flew low level flights in F-100s for the purpose of finding and directing other fighter aircraft to the targets on the ground in North Vietnam.

As a result of the extensive anti-aircraft fire involved, he was shot down twice over North Vietnam. The second time, December 20, 1967, he was captured and spent the next five years as a POW in six different POW camps, twice kept in the famous Hanoi Hilton.

At home preparing for Christmas for their two little girls, his wife Sandy was visited by an Air Force Captain who informed her that her husband had been shot down again and his well-being was not yet known. On December 25, Sandy was once again visited by the same Captain and informed that Guy had been taken prisoner.

While in the camps, Guy relied on his faith to see him through his darkest moments, including finally being able to forgive the guards that had killed his friend, Lance Sijan.

He was finally freed from the prison camp when his brother, Terry, and others flew in a major series of air strikes in December 1972, called Linebacker II. This campaign, later known as The Christmas Bombing Campaign, was what brought the North Vietnamese to their knees and lead to a peace agreement.

Gruters was responsible for saving many lives and won significant combat awards including two Silver Stars and two Distinguished Flying Crosses for risking his life to save his fellow countrymen and South Vietnamese civilians.

This presentation will be held in the Willis Wing of the WACO Air Museum at 1865 S. County Road 25-A, Troy. While the event is free and open to the public, tickets need to be secured by calling WACO Air Museum at 335-9226.

The WACO Aviation Lecture Series is sponsored in part by Dayton Power and Light Corporation.

Visit for details.