Bestselling author Bruce Henderson came on the Daily Show last night to talk about his new book, "Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War." In the book, Henderson tells the story of German-born American soldier Dieter Dengler -- both Henderson's personal hero and a national hero. Henderson describes Dengler's life when he was in Germany with his mother, who used to train him to survive in the forest. His mother would "take him out into the black forest to trap small animals," according to Henderson. Even Stewart was amazed, saying, "I can imagine my mother leaving me in the woods, not teaching me the good stuff." Dengler then joined the U.S. army at age 18, where he became a Skyraider pilot. Dengler was shot down in 1966 and was taken prisoner in a remote jungle camp. According to Henderson, when he met his fellow prisoners he said, "Nice to meet you, but I'm going to be leaving tomorrow." Dengler was an amazing mastermind, and he hatched an escape plan for all the prisoners. When Dengler arrived back to the U.S. ships, "it was a Hollywood moment... like a movie scene," and he became a national hero, despite the unpopularity of the war.
Unfortunately, Dieter Dengler is no longer with us today, but Bruce Henderson pays him, and the armed services as a whole, great respect in this tribute to a man who "really lived his life."
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