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Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: July 1, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973

LEWIS W. SHATTUCK Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force  
Shot Down: July 1, 1966 Released: February 12, 1973   
A native of the state of Washington, Colonel Shattuck was educated
there until his enlistment  in the Air Force in 1952. He graduated
from Aviation Cadet school in 1954 and served in both  Japan and
Italy as well as various posts in the U.S. He volunteered for duty
in Southeast Asia  and was accepted in February 1966.  

Colonel Shattuck flew forty-two missions in North Vietnam  and
twenty-one in Laos. He was shot down on July 1, 1966, but made it
to about seventeen miles  out to sea to be rescued by an SA16 and
then was shot down again.

He made his adjustment to  prison life and decided at once that he
actually did want to live to return to the great and  glorious
country of America.  

"I find that I have come home with an awareness
that I never had  before, an appreciation for life that had escaped me.
It is fascinating for me these days just  to walk outdoors and to look
around and to be able to see the clouds, to see the moon, and the  
fabulous fruits of our natural life - flowers, grasses, mountains, trees.  

"I believe I have  gained an insight, not only into myself, but into my
fellow man as well. I've seen people in  periods of fear and terror and
extreme pain, and I guess living in those tight quarters for so  long I
have begun to understand the actions of people. I am fascinated these
days to meet with  people and to talk with people.  

"I've come home with a patience that I never had before. I find  that
even in the heavy pace of life today, I'm generally relaxed and do not
feel the press of  'having' to be here or 'having' to be there. I am
better able to pace myself, far better able to  cope with life today.  

"I have a great appreciation for color; we were so starved for all those  
years. Our lives were devoid of color, and the brightness of this country,
is so fascinating and  so beautiful. Just before I go to sleep at night,
I thank God for the beautiful days He has chosen  to afford me and for the
life He helped me to keep.  I've found an awareness of God while I was  over
there that I had not had  before.  

"One more thought has come to me and that is the deep,  deep love I have
for this country, a love that grew out of the awareness that I've spoken
about.  I had time to sit and reflect about my life while in prison, to
think about the future and about  all the beautiful things in our country.
Unfortunately, there are people who don't realize what  is about them; they
don't take the time to reflect on their lives as we were afforded the
opportunity  to do. They don't look back to see where they've been, they
don't look forward to see where they  are going. They are caught up with the
press of the day ... we had to see where we were going.   

"I gained a deep, deep appreciation for this country, for the beauty of it,
for the beauty of our  way of life, the beauty in our form of government -
a real tribute to  a small group of men who sat  down and drew up a document
that was  SO flexible, so capable of growing for future generations.   

"My country is a mosaic or a caleidoscope; in that mosaic I see tiles of the
Kansas wheat fields,  of the California sequoias, the Douglas firs of Oregon
and Washington, the pines of the East coast.  I see the character of the waters
change that surround our horders. I see the different soldiers  that we've had
in our time, each in their battle garb, marching off to defend that country,  
sometimes not understanding what it was all about, but going anyway, on the
faith in our way of life.  I see our succession of Presidents, congressmen, and
officials that run this country. I see the  frontiersmen, the Indians who had
their own frontiers; the Africans who were brought as slaves but  are now
becoming a part of society; I see the Spanish people through California, New
Mexico, and  Arizona; I see the modern people who cross their own frontiers,
frontiers of space, and medicine and  progress. And when I look at my whole
mosaic, I see that it is a rectangle with red and white  stripes and a blue
field of fifty stars."  

Lewis Shattuck retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel.
He and his wife Sharon  reside in Washington State.