Minster's Gruters to Appear On EWTN's "Living Right"

EWTN’s Dr. Ray Guarendi and former Airforce Captain Guy Gruters and his wife Sandy pose on the set of "Living Right."
Bob Blindauer
Staff Writer

Minster resident Guy Gruters will be interviewed Living by clinical psychologist Dr. Ray Guarendi on EWTN's "Living Right With Dr. Ray" on Saturday, March 10 at 10 p.m., Tuesday, March 13 at 9 a.m. and Friday, March 16 at 5 a.m.

Gruters survived a North Vietnamese prison camp He credits first his faith and the strength and character of his fellow prisoners for being able to survive captivity for five years under the harshest of conditions. Of some 3,500 prisoners of war in North Vietnam, only 382 lived to return home.

Today the former Air Force captain and pilot speaks about how he and his F-100 Super Sabre were twice knocked out of the sky while doing reconnaissance work, rescued the first time and captured the second time he was shot down, spending five years in captivity at the hands of the North Vietnamese.

Now a motivational speaker he has authored the book “Locked Up with God” about it. He described in detail the direst of living conditions, lack of sanitation and the poorest diet, consisting of all sorts of maggots, vermin-infested food and methods of torture inflicted on him and fellow POWs at the hands of their captors.

Talking of his own captivity, he says, “My captors beat me, humiliated me, spit on me. They tortured me. They killed my friend for no reason. They hardly fed us. They treated us worse than dogs. Bugs and worms and rats were everywhere. It was hell on earth and I was living in it...No one can imagine what it was like to shiver from cold, or to sweat from heat for days on end. No one can imagine being kicked and beaten and hung by ropes. No one can imagine the filth and the lack of medical care. Six out of every seven of us died, and I was ready to go at any moment...I prayed: God save me from my sins. Save me from hating others."

Another astonishing part of Gruters’ story is how his youngest brother Terry followed in his footsteps to the Air Force Academy, also becoming a pilot and ultimately also getting shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese in the waning days of the war. All because he was of a mind to find a way to help to effect his older brother’s release.

Meanwhile, back at home, Guy’s wife Sandy maintained a faithful vigil for her husband and father of their two young children. Reunited in 1973 upon his release, the family grew with six more children added. After his return  Gruters worked for Eastern Airlines as a pilot. During layovers he would find the nearest Catholic church and attend daily Mass, a practice which he continues to this day. Guy and his brother went on to establish a successful software company.

Gruters went on to speak about the effort to bring the story of these POWs to film in the making of "Heroic Love."