Through the Valley is the captivating memoir of the last US Army prisoner captured during the Vietnam War. A narrative of courage, hope, and survival, Through the Valley is more than just a war story. It portrays the thrill and horror of combat, the fear and anxiety of captivity, and the stories of friendships forged and friends lost. During William Reeder’s first tour he had flown secret missions deep into enemy territory in Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. In 1971 Reeder was a senior captain on his second tour in Vietnam. Less than a year later, while providing support to forces at the besieged base of Ben Het, Reeder’s chopper went down. Though Reeder survived the crash, he was captured after evading the enemy for three days. He was held for weeks in jungle cages before enduring a grueling forced march on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which cost the lives of seven of his group of twenty-six POWs. Imprisoned in the notorious prisons of Hanoi, Reeder’s tenacity in the face of unimaginable hardship is not only a captivating story, but serves as an inspiration to all. He shares the torment and pain of his ordeal, but does so in the light of the hope that he never lost. This memoir reinforces the themes of courage and sacrifice, undying faith, strength of family, loyalty among comrades, and love of country.
William Reeder Jr. is a retired Army colonel and highly decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He received the Silver Star for gallantry, two Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism, an Air Medal for valor, and three Purple Hearts for wounds received during the events related in this story. Since military retirement, he has continued to be involved in leadership training and education for the US Army and NATO Special Operations Forces. In 2014, he was inducted into the US Army Aviation Hall of Fame. William Reeder lives in Seabeck, Washington. Books available for purchase and signing at the lecture.