Bataan Death March
August 16, 2011 by staff
Suffering wounds and broken bones, Brown survived years, as a prisoner, but a doctor told him not expected to reach 50. He arrived in 105, died this weekend in a nursing home in Nashville, reports Associated Press.
The Nebraska native not only survived the horrific conditions in camps, secret documents around, scribbling details on a small tablet that is hidden in a duffel bag.
“Doc’s story had much relevance for today’s wounded warriors as it was for the veterans of his own time,” said Kevin Moore, co-author of the recently published Heroes abandoned by the Pacific War: True Story of a man Brown detailing experience.
“The underlying message for returning veterans today is that there is hope, not to give in, no matter how dark the moment may seem,” says Moore told the AP. “You’re going to persevere and find the promise of a new tomorrow, like Doc had found.”
Brown, acknowledged in a 2007 annual convention of the survivors of Bataan as the oldest still lived, remained a prisoner of war camp from early 1942 until mid-September 1945, which live exclusively on rice. He lost 80 pounds.
“He had this amazing spirit to live and overcome,” said Moore. “Positive thinking or whatever, he survived.”
Born in 1905 in North Platte, Nebraska, Brown was the godson of Wild West folk hero “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the Omaha World-Herald reports. He studied dentistry in the 1920s and was called to active duty in 1937, leaving behind his wife and children.
In the prison camps in the Philippines, Brown recalled the struggles breaking into the line to a brass tap water alone.
“Every drop in that tavern was his life,”he told The Omaha World-Herald.
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