Armando Cordoba Special Forces POW ???
We are going to find out.
7 1/2 months as POW
From Green Beret to restaurant owner
By Jason Campbell
POSTED September 16, 2011 1:57 a.m.
Armando Cordoba was 3 ˝ klicks behind enemy lines on a recon mission in Cambodia when he realized that he was in trouble.
With only two fellow Green Berets by his side, Cordoba could see the North Vietnamese Army gathering in the jungle in front of him. It started to become clear that the helicopter that dropped them made a serious topographical error.
So he and his men did the only thing that they could. They radioed in for confirmation that they were in fact deeper into enemy territory than they were supposed to be, waited for word that an evacuation was coming and slowly started to back out.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
The NVA spotted the three men and opened up on their position. The Green Berets – one of the Army’s Special Forces Groups that receives extensive outdoor survival training – fired back as they retreated towards the evacuation zone. The cover fire and the assistance of a pair of gunships was enough to get them to the bird that was waiting, and they piled in.
And then everything went black.
“They hit the tail of the helicopter and it went down. When I finally woke up there was smoke everywhere, and I could hear one of our men screaming,” Cordoba said. “I started working my way over there and that’s when I felt a gun press against my neck and heard a command telling me to stop. The next thing I knew I got hit in the face with the butt of the gun – it knocked my top teeth out and everything – and I came to with a bag over my head and my hands tied up.
“I knew then what was going to happen.”
Life as a Prisoner of War
For 7 ˝ months Cordoba was kept as a prisoner by the NVA in a series of camps that he believes were in Cambodia and Laos. They would remain caged in for 18 hours a day, and would receive only minimal amounts of food and water. Contact among the prisoners was strictly prohibited – even eye contact would result in a visit from the guards.
And treatment, he said, was a nightmare. Waterboarding was a regular occurrence, and other forms of torture used to try and coax information out of the prisoners included inserting bamboo shoots underneath finger and toenails. Electrocuting prisoners by forcing them to stand in water that had been wired was also a tactic, Cordoba said, that was used.
“The things that they did were brutal,” he said. “But they never got any information out of me.”