Sometimes in our lives, we take tomorrow for granted. When Dave and I moved to Versailles, Missouri, I heard about this hero of the POW/MIA issue named Ted Guy. I knew I must get to know him and I put it on the list of things to do. Ted Guy lived only an hour from me but I was always too busy when I was through his town to stop and say "Welcome Home."
Today, I see a hero's memorial dedicated to Ted and most of all, I never had the time nor will I ever get to say, this side of eternity, "Welcome Home, Ted." Now all I can say to the family is his work is not in vain and in his memory, we will carry on. God bless the family of a fallen hero. Agent Orange leaves its ugly trail of tears behind.
Ted, through your actions and ours, POW/MIA's will be remembered.
For God and Country, Joyce Riley and Dave von Kleist.
P.S. Tell them "Welcome Home", don't wait like I did.
In memory of
Colonel Ted Guy
A true American Hero
Colonel Ted Guy took a journey several years ago. A journey, thank God, few men had to take and hopfully one which few men will ever have to take again. This journey took place in a far off land. It included two countries. It was a walking journey from a country called Laos to a city called Hanoi in another country called Vietnam. Colonel Guy spent several years as an American POW in the Hanoi Hilton.
Today, April 24th., 1999, Colonel Guy took another journey. This will be his last. He has gone to be with his maker and his fellow brothers whom he fought so very hard for to get a full accounting of. His MIA brothers. I'm sure they were standing in line at attention and saluting for his "Welcome Home".
Ted Guy (aka "The Colonel") has been a voice among the POW/MIA cause for several years. His voice is one which has been heard from within the beltway of Washington, to American citizens via the internet, to Military leaders and personnel all over the world and into all the hearts of all those who knew him.
Because of this voice, he was loved and most probably hated (by those in Washington I'm sure) but most importantly he was respected. When Ted spoke we all listened. He was a mentor to many of us.
Ted, we will keep up the fight until every last MIA is home.
God Bless you brother and friend. You will be missed but never forgotten. For a man who had such a deep love for his country, please know that your country has just as deep a love for you.
OBITUARY FOR TED GUY
Theodore Wilson Guy, 70, of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, died April 23,
1999, at St. Marys Health Center.
He was born April 18, 1929, in Chicago, a son of Theopholus W. and
Edwina LaMonte Guy.
He was married October 18, 1973, to Linda Bergquist, who survives at
A 1949 graduate of Kemper Military College, he served as a pilot in
the Air Force until his retirement in 1973 as a colonel. A veteran of
the Korean and Vietnam wars, he received a Silver Star, the
Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air
Medal and a Purple Heart. He was a POW for five years in Laos and
After his retirement from the Air Force, he became National Adjutant
for the Order of Daedalians.
In 1977, he became associated with TRW, assigned to Iran as Senior
Tactical Adviser to the Commander, Iranian Tactical Air Command.
He was a member of St. George Episcopal Church, Camdenton.
Other survivors include: two sons, Ted Guy Jr. and Michael Guy, both
of Phoenix; two stepdaughters, Elizabeth Thannum, Los Angeles, and
Katherine Roth, Chicago; one brother, Donald Guy, state of Alabama;
and three grandsons.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Friday at St. George Episcopal Church. The
Rev. Tim Coppinger will officiate. The remains were cremated.
Inurnment, with military honors, will be at a later date in Arlington
National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
Memorials are suggested to the Leukemia Society of America.
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 17:35:52 -0500
It is with deep regret, that I inform you of the death of Col. Ted Guy. He passed away today, 23 April 1999, from complications associated with Lukemia. He only lived 6 months from the time of his first symptoms. He is survived by his wife Linda, two step daughters, four son's, and a brother.
Since most of you did not know Ted, and a few misunderstood him, I am going to ask your indulgence, and tell you a little about him, since I was his very close friend for 44 years.
We first met at Luke Air Force base in 1955 as young Captains instructing fighter gunnery. He had previously completed a combat tour in Korea, flying F-84's. He and I had three things in common. We both loved to fly, party, and fish. Over the years we stayed in close touch, and after his retirement, we fished together many times.
He was assigned to South Vietnam in F-4's while I was in Thailand flying out-country missions, in F-105's. When he showed up in Hanoi, I couldn't fathom how he had gotten there. After we were released, I learned that he was shot down during the battle at Khe Sanh, bailed out and captured in Laos by the North Vietnamese (they were never in Laos! -yah, right!). On the second day of his capture while he was starting his walk to Hanoi, he was heavily sprayed with Agent Orange. In the ensuing days, he walked through many areas that had been previously defoliated.
As he was captured in Laos, he was kept away from the rest of us and spent his first 3 years in solitary confinement. He was then put in with the 100 plus, Army and civilian prisoners and was the Senior Officer. He had his hands full with a group of very young, non-motivated and rebellious enlisted men. Unlike our group, (after the death of HO), he was badly treated by his captors, almost up to our release. He was badly beaten during this time for acting as SRO and on one occasion, suffered severe head injuries, which several years later resulted in his being medically discharged from the service. He had been on the "fast track" prior to shoot down, and had been promoted to Lt. Col. below the zone. To my knowledge, he was the only POW promoted (to 06) below the zone while a POW.
Those concussions he suffered forced his early retirement.
He was not an active member of our group, primarily because he did not know or serve with any of us in Hanoi. He also felt that even though our group elected to be non-political, we should have made an exception and taken a prominent stand as a potential powerful lobby group, to demand a full accounting of the MIA's. He was an individual of deep loyalties, and a boundless love of his country and flag. He stood up tall against those he felt were in the wrong.
His medical specialists felt that his Lukemia was a direct result of his repeated heavy exposures to Agent Orange. The Veterans Administration however, in their infinite wisdom felt otherwise, and denied his emergency claim for Agent Orange disabilities. (Hence no DIC for his wife).
He ended up loosing a promising military career and suffered an early end to his life, in his service to his country. I shall truly miss him.
Subject: [Fwd: A tribute to Colonal Ted Guy from Ted Guy, Jr.]
Swede, please forward this to those that knew my Dad. He considered you a great and long standing friend. Thank you for your thoughts and concern.
On Friday, April 24, my dad passed away. Col. Ted Guy was a man of tremendous conviction, determination and patriotism. As his son, I would like to share with you a picture of my Dad you might not have been aware of. Please read this as a tribute from a son to his Dad.
It was a little over six months ago that Linda alerted me to the fact that Dad was not feeling well and he would be undergoing some test. The test showed the seriousness of Dad's illness. I knew Dad would do everything he could to fight the cancer, as his five year experiance in POW camp had provided a glimpse of his determination. However, my concern became that he would finish well. To finish well would be to be right with God. To be right with God would be to understand and accept God's word, the Bible. To accept God's word would be to recieve Jesus Christ as one's savior.
When I visited with Dad shortly after Christmas, I gave him a copy of the book "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. On the cover of the book I had written, "Dad, I desire more than anything in life that you would spend eternity with me in heavan. I ask you to read this book with an open mind as it is written by a 'wanna be' fighter jock, C.S. Lewis."
Prior to giving this book to Dad, we had had discussions about Jesus Christ, but Dad felt he was pretty much a self made man and could make it on his own. But when your Dad is dying, you tend to again go the extra mile as my grteatest concern was where would he spend eternity.
I am so pleased to report that Dad read the book. As he was figting the cancer, his loving wife, Linda, would read from "Mere Christianity" to Dad every night before he went to bed. In addition, I gave Dad an audio cassette about the "proof of Christ." About two months ago, Dad called me and said he had listened to the tape and "it made alot of sense." He also told me not to worry as he and God were going to be O.K.
Throughout these past four months, I have had the great privilege of seeing Dad do everything he could to beat the cancer. I believe he received outstanding care. I also believe the love and care shown Dad by Linda in helping him fight the cancer is a real example of loving and serving at its very best.
I have also seen Dad's heart towards God change. This change was reflected not only in what he said to people about the things of God, but this change was also reflected in the warmth and love he expressed to so many in his last days. He understood the love of Christ and the beauty of Christ's gift on the cross. But more than understanding, he accepted the gift of God through his Son Jesus Christ.
My wife, Rita, and my sons, David and Jeremy, will miss Dad. David and Jeremy will miss fishing with Granddad as well as being the only two people on the planet that could humble him. (A 4 and 5 year old have that amazing ability.) We are so proud of the great American he was, the lives he touched and the causes he fought. His legacy of patriotism and determination wil live on, we promise.
While we are proud, we are also very thankful. We are thankful Dad received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Perhaps, the Lord has placed dad in a place of great need in having cancer. A place where dad could completely understand his need for Jesus Christ. If I could say one thing to my dad, it would be:
"Dad, you served, you fought, but most of all, you finished well. I am proud to be Ted Guy, Jr."
Knowing my Dad, he would have wanted you to know he died with peace in his heart. He knew he was loved and cared for; but more than anything, he would want you to know he knew the love of God.
A letter to Col. Ted Guy from George "Gunny" Fallon of The Meadow Years website.
Dear Ted, Dad,
It was only three years ago we first met, but it seems more like a lifetime.
It was a casual note from you commenting on something you saw on my webpage...I can't even remember what it was but it was the beginning of friendship that grew faster and stronger than any I've ever known. I've never known anyone quite like you and I doubt I ever will again. You are one of a kind...The toughest, most determined, most unfaltering, most courageous man I've ever had the honor of calling Brother, Friend and Comrade in Arms.
I'm sitting here now trying to be as courageous as I can in view of this latest attempt of yours to shock me into silence so you can have the last word again. Well, it won't work. I'm not going to just let it go this time. This time I get the last word.
You've been my mentor, my Brother and my surrogate Dad since the beginning of our friendship. You gave me insight into subjects I'd never understood, pulled on my coat when I was screwing up and helped me move past some difficult experiences.
I remember when we were building your website and I asked you what music you wanted. I was expecting something stirring or martial like the National Anthem or Wild Blue Yonder. You wanted "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and I couldn't talk you out of it. Now I'm glad you stuck to your guns because every time I watch an old Judy Garland movie or see a
rainbow I'll think of you.
Then it was that damn animated graphic of a flying horse that looked like an ugly, oversized bird and took all day to load. I tried to talk you out of that too but you said you liked it. I'm glad I went along because now every time I see a horse or a bird I'll think of you.
I remember the night you called me and asked if I knew the difference between a good Marine and a bad oyster...I'll let that one go.... That will stay between us. But I will think of you every time I see an oyster...good or bad....
For months after we met, you had me convinced you were a 35-year-old 'devil may care' renegade hell raiser, even though that would have made you ...What?...six years old when you were capture by the NVA?
You have a way of making me believe anything...
I wish you could make me believe this is all a big mistake...that you'll call me tomorrow and tell me you're getting the boat ready for our fishing trip.
I wish you could call me in the morning and tell me you and Linda were coming to New Jersey and we could make plans for a night of drinking, singing and story-telling at the pub.
When the news came, I was not ready. I was still praying for the miracle. For months now, I've been afraid to answer the phone. Now I don't have to be afraid anymore. But it will never be the same again.
I'll try to deal with this the way I think you'd want me to. I'll stand as tall as I can, bite my lip and try to live with the knowledge that you won't be calling me anymore with a bad joke or good idea. I'll try to accept that I'll never be able to shake your hand, go fishing with you, or have a friendly father to son chat again. I'll never be able to trade Marine/Air Force barbs, joke about politicians or share that bottle of Bushmills at the New Hampshire Primary.
And I'll try to live with the pain of knowing I never got to say goodbye...
Well Dad, now you finally have the answers we searched for together. And you have the peace and freedom you fought so hard to gain for others.
Say Hi to Rick for me...and to Ken George and Jason and Misty. Tell them I'll see you all as soon as I'm done here...
And now that you can't yell at me for saying it:
I love you Ted ... and I'll miss you more than you could ever know.
I hope you heard me play tonight...I did one just for you. You know the one. The one we talked about last summer.
A Tribute to Former Vietnam War POW Ted Guy
by U.S. Senator Bob Smith
April 29, 1999 In the Senate of the United States TED GUY, AN AMERICAN HERO MR. SMITH of New Hampshire: Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Retired Colonel Theodore Wilson Guy, United States Air Force, from Missouri. Ted Guy, nicknamed "The Hawk" by those who knew him best, was a genuine American hero. He was best known for having sacrificed his freedom for his country as a U.S. POW during the Vietnam War, but aside from being a hero, he was also a husband, father, brother, and a friend to many, including myself. Last Friday, April 23, 1999, he passed away only six-months after discovering symptoms associated with Leukemia.
I will always remember Ted Guy for the encouraging faxes and e-mails he used to send to my office, especially during the investigation conducted by the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs which I co-chaired in the early 1990s. I gained strength from the inspiring messages of this true American hero. Ted felt very strongly that our Government needed to do more to account for his missing comrades from the Vietnam War, and he traveled at his own expense to Washington D.C. to the halls of Congress to make his point.
Ted was right to be concerned about our Government's handling of the POW/MIA issue. And with his support, and the support of his fellow veterans and family members of POWs and MIAs, we've made significant progress in opening the books, declassifying records, and pressing foreign governments for answers over the last decade. However, as Ted continued to maintain up until his last days with us, there is still much work to do with our accounting effort, and I, for one, am committed to seeing this issue through, in part, because of people like Ted.
Let me say to the youth of America, if you want role models to aspire to, they just don't come any better than men like Ted Guy.
Ted joined the Air Force in 1947 and served his country as an Air Force fighter jock for the next 26 years. He served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars, flying the F-84 in the Korean theater of operations, and the F-4 in the Vietnam theater. On March 22, 1968, while attacking an automatic weapons position near the Vietnamese/Laotian border during the battle of Khe Sanh, Ted's plane was shot down, and he was captured by communist forces.
Ted was subsequently marched up the Ho Chi Minh trail, and then held in several POW camps in the Hanoi area, to include the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He was brutally tortured by the North Vietnamese, to the point where he would pass out from severe beatings. He was also forced to spend nearly four years in solitary confinement.
When he was finally removed from solitary confinement, he was put in a prison with more than a hundred other U.S. military and civilian prisoners. He became the senior officer among them and was responsible for maintaining order, chain of command, and the code of conduct among his fellow POWs.
His leadership and guidance helped his fellow POWs survive their ordeal. Many of them referred to themselves as "Hawk's Heroes" in honor of Ted Guy.
To the code of conduct, Ted added his own personal code that consisted of two points. The first point was to resist until unable to resist any longer before doing anything to embarrass his family or country. The second point was to accept death before losing his honor.
Ted once said "honor is something that once you lose it you become like an insect in the jungle. You prey upon others and others prey upon you until there is nothing left. Once you lose your honor, all the gold in the world is useless in your attempt to regain it."
Mr. President, Ted never, never lost his honor. What an inspiration he was to all Americans.
He leaves behind his wife Linda of 26 years, his four sons and two step daughters. He has touched so many more people, however, with his unselfish and patriotic sacrifices for America and his heartfelt concerns about efforts to account for his missing comrades from the Vietnam War who never made it home. I was proud to call him a friend, and I will miss him.
As with other POWs, Ted used a tap code in Hanoi to communicate through the walls with other POWs. It was an alphabet matrix, five lines across, five lines down. Ted used to end his messages by tapping the code GBU for "God bless you," and CUL for "see you later."
Today, I'd like to end my tribute with the same message to Ted, "GBU, CUL."
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that tributes to Ted Guy from his son, his POW/MIA supporters, and his dear friend and fellow POW, Swede Larson, be entered in the record immediately following my remarks, along with the obituary carried in his local paper.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Below is a letter written by "The Colonel" to Laura's kids at Veterans for a Change.
Hi, My name is Colonel Ted Guy and I am a former fighter pilot who retired several years ago. During my 26 years service, I had the honor of fighting for the beliefs engrained in Americans in two wars. First Korea and then Vietnam.
Unfortunately, on my 287th mission in Vietnam, really Laos, my plane, an F-4 suffered major damage and I went down. I was captured by the Vietnamese and started the long journey to Hanoi where I spent the next five years.
Four of those years were spent in total solitary confinement. I had no one to talk to except myself, which really wasn't too bad because no one ever disagreed with me or gave me an argument.
What you and your teachers are doing should be done by all Americans. If more people would get involved we could force our government to really investigate the POW/MIA issue and put the tragedy of the forgotten behind us.
Maybe your teachers will give you a minute or two on the World Wide Web and you will visit my page and find out more about the Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
Many, many people ask me if I would encourage my grand kids and other young people to go in the service after what happened to me and the rest.
My answer is always "You can bet your sweet ___ I would."
(Don't want to get teach mad at me, but from what I hear now a days, you all know the word that goes in there.)
Additionally, I tell them that I would do it all over again, the solitarily, the beatings, and the torture. WHY? Because there is no other place in the world, maybe in the universe like this great county we live in...called the USA.
Where else can I rant and rave and criticize my leaders for not doing enough? Where else can I say what I feel? Where else can I peacefully demonstrate to get the rest of the boys home. Nowhere, that's where.
I want to thank each and everyone of you for your help in helping me resolve this very important issue.
Sounds like Lee Greenword is getting a little tired playing God Bless the USA, so guess I better sign off.
GBU & CUL (That is POW code for God Bless You and See you Later.)
When we used to tap on the walls to each other, that is the way we ended our messages.
Ted W. Guy
P. S. I am also from Illinois.
Lived there until I entered the service.
GBU & CUL Colonel
When in Washington we will Check 6 SIR
Gulf War Vets Home Page.