Sandy and Guy have been married for more than fifty years. Born in the early 1940s to a family with deep roots in the South, Sandy grew up in a traditional southern family. Sandy has traced her ancestry back to the French Huguenots who moved to the southern part of America in the 1700s. Her ancestors originally arrived in North America on the first of the “supplies” ships. These “supplies” ships were the follow-on ships that were sent with supplies and additional settlers for the original Jamestown settlement. These ships closely followed the ships that brought the original settlers to Jamestown. One of the first members of her family line in America was killed shortly thereafter. He was one of 347 slaughtered in the famous Powhatan Indian attack of March 22, 1622.
Sandy and her younger brother, Jim, spent the early years of their childhood in Jacksonville, Florida. They also visited with their numerous cousins and other relatives in Palatka, Florida.
Her family moved to Sarasota when Sandy was five. Her father was the distributor for the American Oil Company in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. He worked close to home so that he could spend more time with his family. Sandy attended elementary school and junior high school in Sarasota and also attended and graduated from Sarasota High School. She was very involved in school activities. She was a member of student government, and was also a high school cheerleader. After high school, she attended Florida State University and earned a degree in education.
During this period, she met Guy when they were both home in Sarasota on Christmas vacation. He was attending the Air Force Academy. They corresponded for years and she married Guy before he finished his Master’s Degree at Purdue University.
Sandy and Guy have always been deeply in love and the fruit of this love is a large family and many grandchildren. The children came quickly at first. Before Guy left for Vietnam, Sandy and Guy had been blessed with their first two daughters, Dawn and Sheri.
In those days, and really for most of their married life, there have been many family moves around the country. In fact, they have moved more than twenty times during their married life. For example, before Guy left for the Vietnam war, he was in school and training in various locations. After attending Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, they moved to Valdosta, Georgia, for Pilot Training, then to Phoenix, Arizona, for Fighter Gunnery School, then to Eglin AFB, Florida for air commando training. Guy then left for Vietnam and Sandy returned to Sarasota to wait.
Sandy was very close to Guy’s parents as well as her own. She was still a very young woman and able to share in the family love of Guy’s sisters and his youngest brother, Peter. Guy’s other brother, Terry, just three years younger, had already left home and was in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy. You might say that Sandy became a Gruters in the fullest sense, with Guy’s entire family, because they did so much together. With Sandy’s husband absent, and having two small children and no one to help her around the house, Sandy had a real need for the Gruters’ family members to love her with their help and care. As a result, Peter and his sisters spent much time “over at Sandy’s,” as they used to call their visits and stays there.
Guy’s mother also spent a great deal of time with Sandy and her first two granddaughters. Sandy had a very special relationship with her, and looked up to her in many ways. She had tremendous respect for her and was inspired by her brilliance and insightfulness in virtually any situation. She particularly remembered and incorporated her advice to be at peace with where everyone was in their journey through life. She remembers her telling her not to judge any one, but rather to listen to and appreciate every individual. Guy states that to this day, Sandy is the humblest and most patient listener he has ever met. She really does love everyone and shows it with her sincere interest and concern. Many other personal characteristics of Guy’s mother, regarding how she cared for her family and her husband, deeply impressed Sandy.
Before long, a really different event occurred. Guy had been in Vietnam for over nine months. It was early in November, November 8, 1967, to be exact, when Sandy received word that Guy had been shot down but also rescued. This experience brought home to her that she was married to a real soldier and that he could die at any time. Her prayers were answered, however, and he did not suffer death or a permanent injury. However, his wrist was shattered and his hand badly cut up when he ejected from the cockpit of the fighter plane. As a result of having to be admitted to a hospital to have these injuries repaired, he could not fly for a while, which gave Sandy some peace.
On Thanksgiving Day, Sandy was late coming to the holiday gathering at Guy’s parents’ house. They had purchased a very large old historical house that still exists in Sarasota. They had and the family still owns a very large dining room table given to them by Father C.L. Elslander. The table was originally owned by one of the Ringling Brothers of the famous circus family. Because it was such a big table at twelve feet long, it was always where the Gruters’ family, their local relatives and Sandy and her two children traditionally celebrated Thanksgiving.
Everyone had already arrived. It was a full house with many children playing in the backyard. The adults were sitting in the living room having cocktails, looking forward to Sandy and the grandchildren’s arrival. The turkey was cooked, the “fixings” were fixed! The adult family members were talking about Guy’s recent shoot down and rescue. An AP wire photo of the rescue of Guy and Charlie Neel had appeared in virtually all the newspapers of the county. It was the talk of the town in Sarasota.
Outside, Peter, Guy’s youngest brother, who was eleven years old at the time, remembers looking at one of his cousins, JoAnne, a few years younger than he, as she screamed out at the top of her lungs GUY!!!, while looking down the alleyway.
It was true. Guy walked up to the back yard, motioned the children to be silent at JoAnne’s shout, and entered the house through the screen door on the back porch. His uncle, Al, saw him first at the rear of the main hallway through the center of the house and yelled “Guy!” also. His mother ran down the hallway and they closely embraced for a long time. Then everyone was greeted, but Sandy and the children were not there.
What a Thanksgiving Day that was, lots of hugs and kisses, and lots of crying, Guy was home! Guy was home!
Guy was always one to surprise others. In fact, even his getting shot down over North Vietnam surprised others greatly. Most of his four hundred combat missions had been in South Vietnam, but he had volunteered for a top-secret assignment flying over North Vietnam. That’s why it was such a big surprise when he was rescued from the China Sea off the coast of North Vietnam, as the widely distributed AP wire photo indicated.
But his arrival in Sarasota was a bigger surprise, because everyone thought he was still in Vietnam on the other side of the world, ten thousand miles away. But now he was home. His hand and his lower arm were in a cast. Without calling or contacting anyone he had hopped rides on Air Force cargo and transport planes all the way back from Vietnam to an Air Force Base in South Carolina. Then he managed to get home from there and happened to arrive at the moment when everyone was gathered together ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. God’s timing is perfect and his blessing to the Gruters’ family this day was beautiful. It was the ultimate Thanksgiving Day. Those present will never forget it, for the Gruters’ family and their relatives were a very close extended family.
A call was made to Sandy immediately. Of course, when Sandy was not there, Guy immediately left to surprise her too. She was just about ready to come over. Guy’s oldest sister, Mary Ann, drove Guy to Sandy’s house.
Sandy’s story, now begins:
“On November 8th, 1967, I was at home and the telephone rang. I answered it and heard someone say, “Mrs. Gruters. Did you know that your husband was shot down this morning?” Then there was a pause, I was stunned, and then I said, “No, I don’t know anything.”
Then the woman said, “This is the Sarasota Herald. Oh, it’s OK, he’s rescued, your husband’s rescued.”
I said, “ Thank you very much, but I don’t know anything about this,” and the call ended.
Well, I was shocked. I couldn’t imagine why I hadn’t heard anything if this was true. But at that time different things were going on in the country. Other wives had received crazy phone calls, etc. But I immediately called Guy’s folks, “I just got a call from somebody who said they were from the newspaper. Did you hear anything about Guy being shot down?”
“No, we haven’t heard anything.”
“Well, we’ll just wait and see what happens. I’ll call you if I hear anything.”
About half an hour later, the phone rang again. It was a MARS network man.
He said, “If you’ll hold, I have a call from a Lt. Guy Gruters.”
I replied: “Of course I’ll hold.”
There was clicking and static, then I heard Guy’s voice, and I said, “Guy, are you all right?” He said, “Yes, I’m fine, don’t worry about it. We had a little incident this morning, we were shot down, but we’re OK. They are going to take us to the hospital, but it’s nothing to be worried about. I’ll be in touch later.”
“OK, you’re sure you’re OK?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
That was the last I heard, until the letters came.
I didn’t know it at the time, but his wrist was shattered, some tendons severed, and he had to have surgery on his hand. He had to wear a cast on his lower right arm. I called his folks and told them that he had called, he had been shot down, but rescued, and that he was fine and would be in touch.
Guy went to the hospital, was operated on, and we exchanged letters and audio tapes. Then, while he was in the hospital, he read a religious tract that said, “Ask, and you shall receive.” ”Believe and it shall be given unto you.” So he prayed and asked to go home, because he could not fly and they would not take off the cast until January 1st.
He talked to his Commander, who OK’d a two week leave to go home if he could get space available travel, but also said he didn’t think it was possible. Of course, he didn’t say a word about this to us, because it was such a long shot.
Guy packed a bag and went to Cam Ranh Bay, where transports were arriving and departing. After two days of being unable to get on a number of planes going to Travis AFB in California, he was able to get aboard a flight to Charleston, SC, which was much better. He walked across the airport and took a civilian plane to Tampa, Florida. Then an airport limo brought him down Rt. 41 to Sarasota, less than a block from his Parent’s house. He had not realized it, but this was Thanksgiving Day of 1967.
Meanwhile, I had gone up to Palatka, just south of Jacksonville, to visit my family, but I had promised Guy’s mother, Marian, that I would be back for the Thanksgiving Day dinner at her house, with all her extended family and Guy’s brothers and sisters. So I left my folks early on the morning of Thanksgiving Day with our two little girls, one and two years old. We left for Sarasota, which was about a two hundred mile trip across Florida. The girls were just babies, and I wanted to go home first, get them changed and all cleaned up.
While we were getting ready, Guy had been dropped off by the limo at the entrance to the alleyway behind his house, and he walked along it to his back yard. His cousins and the little children were all outside playing and saw him first. They shouted in delight, “Guy!” but he managed to quiet them down, telling them he was trying to surprise everyone.
He entered the back porch and opened the back door of the house. There was a long central hallway from front to back, built in the old style before air conditioning, and everybody was in the front living room having cocktails, about three in the afternoon.
His uncle Al saw him first at the far end of the hall and shouted, “Guy!” His mother had a fit and ran to greet him, hugging and kissing him and crying. Then his Dad, brothers and sisters, cousins and everyone else warmly greeted him. It was perfect and such a wonderful gift that God had given to us.
Guy asked his mother to call me and she said,
“Sandy, where are you, everyone is here!”
“Marian, I just got in, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
But Guy couldn’t wait, he asked his sister, Mary Ann, to drive him over to our house, a few miles away across town. She did, and again, he went to the alley at the end of the street and approached the back of the house, knocking on the back door.
I was running around, trying to get the children ready, and all of a sudden there was a knock on the back door.
When I heard the knock, I thought, “Oh, it’s probably the paper boy.” Now this is how overwhelmed I was. How could the paper boy be coming by on Thanksgiving Day? So I went to the back door, and I looked, and there was this huge body silhouetted through the jalousie glass door. I thought, “That’s not the paper boy?” I opened the door, and there stood Guy. He said,
It’s a good thing I had a strong heart. It just about knocked me over. I couldn’t believe it. Anyway, we had a beautiful time that day. We went back to his parent’s house and had the reunion with all his family and relatives. It could not have been a finer Thanksgiving Day.
The time home in November of 1967 was such a blessing. He spent ten days with us. Guy had not seen the house where we were staying, so he saw that we were OK and in a safe area. He met many of the friends I now had from the military wives’ group. We had formed a wives’ organization of the men deployed to Vietnam, and he met some of them. It gave him a chance to see the changes in the children. There was no Skype or cellphones then, so it was wonderful for him to see the changes in the children. All in all it was a beautiful gift from God.
Then we left Sarasota and went up to my folks in Palatka for a visit with all of my family.
Now it was time to put him back on the plane. In those years, there were many men leaving for Vietnam each day from the airports near military bases. When we arrived at the airport, there were a good number of families saying goodbye to their loved ones leaving for the war. I thought to myself, “Oh, those poor people, they have to wait a whole year. Thank Heaven we are so lucky, we only have to wait about three months.” Little did I know it would be longer than three months before we would see Guy again.
I went back to my folks, spent a couple of days with them, and then I drove back to Sarasota. We resumed our normal activities with the military wives’ group and their children. It really was a great group of people. There were many activities for the wives as well as for the children. However, there were moments of sorrow too. We had friends who had lost their husbands or traveled to the hospitals for the seriously wounded. We were there for each other to help in any way we could. I thank God we had each other for those tough times.”
Before long, Guy was on his way back to Vietnam. Then, within a matter of weeks news came that Guy had been shot down again. This time, however, he had not been rescued and was listed as MIA, missing in action.
In Sandy’s words;
“On December 20th, 1967, Guy’s sister was home from college, and she volunteered to come over and help put up Christmas decorations. I really appreciated her help, and we were busily working away. All of a sudden, I looked out the window and saw an Air Force car pulling in the driveway. So I said, “Oh, Mary Ann, the Air Force is finally coming by to tell me that Guy was shot down!” I said this because I had never been officially notified about the first shoot down.
I went to the door with a big smile on my face as the young Captain walked up to the door and said, “You’ve come to tell me my husband was shot down!” I’m sure he thought I was flat out nuts!
He said, “Mrs. Gruters, may I come in and talk to you?”
“Of course, come in.”
“Mrs. Gruters, your husband, Captain Guy D. Gruters, was shot down this morning over North Vietnam and is listed as missing in action.”
I looked at him and said, “I’m sorry, but you’ve made a mistake. My husband is in the hospital in Da Nang, and there is no way he could have been shot down over North Vietnam.”
He said, “Mrs. Gruters, the Air Force tries very hard not to make this kind of mistake. Would you please read the letter?”
Well, I took it and read the letter and there it was in black and white, that Guy had been shot down for the second time.
“I can’t believe it. Why, just this morning I received his letter saying he would be in the hospital until January 1st.”
“I don’t know anything about that, Mrs. Gruters, but your husband definitely was shot down this morning.”
He was a lovely Captain, a lawyer by profession, and he gave me a great deal of good advice. I was so blessed, God was so good to me. Because there were a number of other wives who did not have everything so clearly explained to them. Thank God he was able to give me all kinds of information about how to handle everything in the future including the financial procedures and everything else.
As he was leaving, he said, “Mrs. Gruters, I will only come back for one of two reasons, it will be to let you know that either we know your husband has been captured, or we know he has been killed in action.” Then he left.
Of course, Mary Ann called all Guy’s family and everyone came over. All were so kind and tried to help me get through the day. At this time, I experienced a unique gift. It was like God lifted me up over everything going on. I could see me and knew the person was me, but there was no emotional connection. I watched as I fixed food and drinks for the children and everyone, but with no emotion. God was getting me through a tough day. People stayed until really late, and offered to spend the night. I said, “No, no, I’m OK, I don’t need you to stay, thank you.” So they all left.
I put the children down and went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and thought, well, I’ll just write Guy a letter. Guy and I wrote each other every day, and I just had to write that night. I wrote, “I feel that if you were dead, I would know it.” I told him that I would just carry on, as if he was coming home. We would just keep doing all the things we had been doing. I would just wait until he came home.
The next morning, I was fixing and serving breakfast. Guy’s brother, Terry, was home from the Air Force Academy and was there with his Dad. His family seemed to be taking turns being with me.
I was sitting in a rocking chair, as the children were finishing breakfast, when I looked out the window and said, “The Air Force car has just pulled into the driveway again.” It was one thing or the other. Guy was dead or a POW.
The same Captain got out. God bless him, he had volunteered for Christmas duty, bringing news to all of the KIA, wounded or missing to family members. I opened the door, and when he saw me, he broke into a smile and said, “Mrs. Gruters, I have a much better Christmas present for you today, your husband is a POW.”
“May I come in?”
He came in and told us all the information he had been given. He said I would not be seeing him again, but the Air Force would keep me informed of any information they had on the POWs or Guy in particular. We thanked him for his concern and care. We told him that we would just do what we could and be standing by, and he went back to Tampa.
Little did I know five years and three months would pass before our reunion, but that’s another story for another day.”
Sandy was devastated, and so were her two small children. Guy‘s parents were also devastated as were his brothers Terry and Peter, and his sisters, Mary Ann, Jeannie and Faith. Incredible sadness reigned in the Gruters’ family.
But the family members soon found out why Guy had been classified as a POW. There had been a brief contact with the instructor pilot, Major Bob Craner, that Guy had been shot down with. This contact happened the day after he was captured. Bob’s survival radio was being held by a North Vietnamese soldier. In one of the coolest and most courageous sequences of events ever, Bob managed to get a few words off to a fighter pilot above, who was in the area, to tell his wife and Guy’s wife that they were captured but still alive.
Sandy was now very alone. Guy had purchased a collie he named “Century,” after the F100 fighter plane he flew, to help her and the children to be loved and protected. She had her parents and her brother and the Gruters’ family, but her “Love” was gone.
The years went by, and Sandy heard no word of Guy. Because of Bob Craner’s radio call, as mentioned he was classified as a POW, which meant Prisoner of War. Then finally, after two and one-half years, she received a letter from Guy. The letter was only one page. Guy was only allowed to write six lines. Guy wrote very neatly and very small so he could write as many words as possible.
Sandy lived alone with her two daughters and waited for the period of five years and three months Guy was held prisoner. There always seemed to be peace talks going in Paris but America was afraid to start World War III and so they would not try to win the war. This meant that the North Vietnamese would not release the prisoners. It was a bad situation, because no one could ever know if this “military action” would ever end or if the North Vietnamese would ever release the American POWs.
Despite such anxiety, and such insecurity, Sandy held on. She prayed a lot along with her parents and with everyone else in the Gruters’ family and their close relatives. And as Sandy mentioned, there was tremendous prayerful and moral support from the POW and MIA families and the entire American people.
During this period, Sandy was very active with other POW and MIA families in trying to do what they could to awaken the American people to the problem. As a result, numerous newspaper articles were written that usually had a picture of Sandy with her two young daughters in them. The stories told of Guy’s shoot down, and described the current situation, and Sandy’s activities during the wait. Guy was also a hometown boy. He had graduated from Sarasota High School and this is why the local newspaper covered the story so frequently, as almost all local papers did nationwide to show loyalty and concern for their hometown soldiers.
While Guy was away in prison, a man named Ross Perot felt called to do something on his own. He asked the POW wives and their children to fly to Paris where the North Vietnamese had been meeting with the American delegation to try to work out a peace agreement.
In Sandy’s words;
“I received a call from Linda Grey, another POW/MIA wife, in early December of 1969. Linda had volunteered to coordinate all POW/MIA information for the people in the MacDill AFB (Tampa, FL) area. She said that Ross Perot was providing a plane to take family members to Paris, France, for a Christmas trip. The purpose was to meet with the North Vietnamese delegation for an accounting of the missing, and to ask for humane treatment for those held. I told Linda that the children and I would go. Several days later, after talking with Guy’s parents and after further thought, I decided to leave the children with Guy’s parents, and go alone. We thought that especially since it was Christmas, it would be too hard on the young children.
I flew from Tampa to JFK International (New York), where I met families from all over the Country. As I was waiting to board, a darling girl approached me and asked if I was the wife of Guy Gruters? I said, “Yes,” and she introduced herself as Mary Jane McManus, married to Kevin, who was a classmate of Guy at the Air Force Academy. We talked and decided to travel together, since neither of us had children with us. This began a wonderful friendship of almost fifty years now. Mary Jane and I were together the entire trip, both on the planes and the buses.
Ross Perot chartered a Braniff aircraft, and then organized and paid for the trip of 58 wives and mothers and 94 children to Paris on Christmas Day, 1969. We were hopeful that some information could be obtained about our husbands, sons and fathers. The purpose was to meet with the North Vietnamese Delegation in Paris. We arrived at Orly Airport after an all night flight at dawn on Christmas Day and traveled by bus to the North Vietnamese Embassy. But we were stopped by French police a block away. The police finally allowed our representatives to walk to the embassy, but it was closed and they were told no one would meet with them. Very disappointed, we decided to attend Christmas Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. Mary Jane and I lit candles and prayed for our husbands and all the POWS.
While we were in Notre Dame, a French police inspector came and told us that the North Vietnamese would meet with us after all. We boarded the buses and traveled back to the embassy. They would only allow three wives to meet with them. They were admitted and asked for information about a long list of our pilots missing in action, of whom no information had been released. This was in line with North Vietnamese policy of allowing no contact by mail or otherwise, in either direction, between families and captured soldiers.
I had written letters to Guy in care of Hanoi, and the letters were returned to me, marked, “Addressee unknown.” This was devastating to me. I thought he might have died. The North Vietnamese took the list and said they might give information via peace organizations (read that “anti-war organizations”).
Mary Jane and I were among those waiting in the buses for the girls to return, hopefully with news about our men. But we were disappointed again. Then we traveled back to the airport and home to the States late that Christmas Day. We were all convinced that the only reason the North Vietnamese even saw any of us was because of the tremendous publicity this visit garnered in the very quiet (newswise) Christmas season.
We arrived back in New York, had dinner in the hotel, then met in an auditorium after dinner with the other wives and children. There Mr. Perot had arranged for Santa Claus to distribute very nice gifts to all the children present. We all thanked the men who had so graciously given up their Christmas with their families to help us.
Mary Jane and I were sitting on the right front row, and as people started to leave, she looked at me, and suddenly I burst into tears. She asked me, “Sandy, what is wrong?” I said, “I don’t know, Guy’s in Hanoi, the children are in Florida, I’m in New York, and it’s Christmas, when families should be together.”
Santa looked over and saw me. He immediately came over, knelt in front of me and asked what was wrong? Mary Jane told him what I had just said. He motioned to one of the men to bring over a bag of toys and said, “We want you to take these to your children, whom you’ll see tomorrow.” Then he lifted up his beard and said, “Honey, we need to get you a drink!” And that made me laugh, and helped me to regroup.
This man had taken the entire trip with us, had just doled out presents to almost a hundred children, and had to be more exhausted than we were, yet he was so kind.
The next day, after traveling home, the children were delighted to celebrate a second Christmas, thanks to Mr. Perot and his men.”
Then, years later, during the Christmas season of 1972, something dramatic happened. President Nixon apparently had become very angry that the prisoners had not been released yet and that the North Vietnamese were not sitting down at the peace table to work things out. As a result, the President ordered a massive bombing raid on North Vietnam, with Terry co-piloting one of the bombers. There were 11 days of bombing, called the “Eleven Day War,” considered the biggest air battle in history. The North Vietnamese Air Force and air defenses were thoroughly destroyed, it was bomb at will by US Air Force and Naval aircraft over all North Vietnam, the supply ports and system were thoroughly destroyed, and as a direct result the North Vietnamese signed a peace treaty which agreed to release the POWs.
Finally Guy would come home. Guy and Sandy’s two daughters had been without a dad for six years and Sandy had been without a husband for the same period. Sandy had endured the trial as a faithful wife. She never entertained a thought about obtaining a divorce or giving up and marrying another. Now her faithfulness was rewarded. She would have her husband back. HALLELUJAH!! Thanks be to God! Her prayers were answered.
The release of the more than five hundred POWs was an international event. It happened in February and March of 1973. First there was a phone call from Guy, made from Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The POWs had been brought to Clark after they were picked up from Hanoi in US Air Force C-141 Transports. From there they were flown to Hawaii for a fuel stop, with massive crowds welcoming the POW transport planes at all hours of the day and night. Then they departed for various bases all over the country. Guy was flown to Montgomery Air Force Base in Alabama. The Air Force invited Sandy and Guy’s immediate family to come and stay on the base. The transport plane with the POWs finally came and landed. This was a wonderful, joyful event which is still well remembered by all present.
One of Guy’s closest Air Force friends from the MISTY Fast FACs, Major, later Colonel, Charlie Neel, the man he was shot down with the first time, was assigned to Guy to help him readjust to being back. Charlie was acknowledged by everyone as a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot, the highest praise possible among combat pilots. Charlie and his wife Linda drove Sandy to meet Guy as he came off the plane. Then Charlie and Linda drove he and Sandy to where Guy’s parents, brother and sisters were waiting. Terry purposely delayed coming to Montgomery Air Force base until the next day. He did this because he did not want to in any way interfere with Guy’s meeting and reunion with Sandy and their children and with Guy’s meeting and reunion with his parents. He knew how greatly they had suffered and what a great reunion this would be for all of them.
An excellent film of this reunion was taken by Guy’s friend, Charlie. It was made with an 8mm camera. Charlie said later that he cried the whole time the camera was running. The film can be viewed on Guy’s website. It was also shown on a recent ABC evening news program when Guy and two other well known POW’s were interviewed by Diane Sawyer. The film clip is also scheduled to be shown on public television in 2017 as part of a ten part series on the Vietnam War produced for Public Television.
What a homecoming, what a reunion! What joy and what love was experienced! There were so many tears, so many tears of joy! Guy was home! Guy was home!
The years passed, Guy left the Air Force and entered civilian life. Sandy now had a “whole” family again. More children came, a total of seven, then sixteen grandchildren. There was lots more of moving around the country. There were also many trials as occurs in all families.
Sandy has been a very dedicated mother for all these years and a faithful wife. She now travels with Guy to most of his speaking engagements and has also given many talks herself to groups of military wives. She relates to them and encourages them. She tells how she survived without her man for the total of the six year period that Guy was in Vietnam, both in combat and during the sorrowful and insecure period of his time in a communist prison camp. She has encouraged many women to hang on and to do the same with their husbands when they get deployed into a war zone. She witnesses with her example during and after the military experience to this day.
The new Heroic Love film will tell her story, especially during the period of time that Guy was away. It is a singular and outstanding story of heroic love, the story of a faithful wife, the story of the sorrow and insecurity that she endured for what seemed would be not just six years, but most likely the remainder of her life. It is also the story of her prayer life and her trust in God through it all.
This new film will also re-live the happy events that have just been summarized. It will include the joy of that Thanksgiving Day and the joy beyond belief on the day of Guy’s homecoming.
Sandy looks forward to helping with the film’s production in any way she can. She has already provided parts of her story to the screenwriter and will act as a consultant during the production of the new film. Her story of heroic love can help other wives and mothers in the future to have trust in God and to live the lives of a faithful military wife or mother.