WILLIAM D. BURROUGHS
(from the SNOPES POW Bio Page)
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: July 31, 1966
Released: March 4, 1973
DEAR AMERICA: It's mighty nice to be home among friendly faces again. My understanding of the reasons for your personal interest in us is slow in coming, but among those many reasons I see a concern for those in need. This affirmation of the brotherhood of man suggests an idea that forced itself before me during these past years. There is almost nothing that you and I do - whether we like it or not - nothing we do that does not affect someone else. And even though the effect may be small, it can reach around the world. Our intellectual, vocal, physical, emotional, and spiritual actions and reactions have an effect on others. What we call our personal business
often has some effect on others - if only in the joy or sorrow we exude to those near us. Cause and effect sometimes operate in unforeseen ways. The lesson I draw from this human condition says: consider well that well-intentioned actions can produce a negative effect, sometimes on those unknown to us.
One more comment before my sermon is done: The terms of sacrifice are uncertain. Those who have died have given their lives; those left behind have given that life and continue to give themselves in small and large ways each day. We can only sense and understand at best the effect. We cannot feel it. The sacrifice of those left here is anguish, lessened in some by their acceptance of the reasons for sacrifice, heightened in others because it is an involuntary thing. The effect of those lost lives is not only far-reaching, but deep beyond fathoms. Those who had lost a husband, father, or son, but now have him returned have also suffered that anguish. What
remains is a hope that all of those left here by the men who died will have a rebirth for themselves.
If these words make sense, then let them be a tribute to those people who suffer from uncertainty and loss, and resolve to consider your effect upon them in showing your care.
William Burroughs retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and his wife Connie were married February 28, 1998. Seven children, (3 hers, 4 his) and seven grandchildren were among family present for the celebration. They resided in Arizona, until Dave's sudden death on March 22, 1999. He had emergency surgery on Monday, 3/15, for an aneurysm. Things were going well until another aneurysm ruptured. His wife stated "Please send prayers for this wonderful man. I know he's in heaven tonight and more comfortable than any of us. God bless you all."