Up & Coming Weekly

September 06, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 25 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 7 - 13, 2022 UCW 25 Former POW to speak at ASOM by ALYSON HANSEN EVENT ALYSON HANSEN, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200 Sweet Valley Ranch Opening: OCTOBER 2022 October 15th (8pm) Sponsored by Backwo ods Terror Ranch hell is here followed by mostley Crue (Motley Crue Tribute Band) 844-622-3276 2990 SUNNYSIDE SCHOOL ROAD FAYETTEVILLE, NC 28312 BACKWOODSTERRORRANCH.COM United States Air Force retired Col. Quincy Collins will be speaking at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Sept. 15, as part of the mu- seum's Distinguished Speaker Series. Collins, a 91 year old veteran, served during the Vietnam War. He was held as a prisoner of war for seven and a half years. ASOM began the Distinguished Speaker Series in January of 2020. U.S. Army Veteran Kurt Muse spoke of his time as a captured soldier in Panama in 1989. e talk was a huge success. "We filled the auditorium with people from the community who had not been here for a program in years," said Renee Lane, executive direc- tor, Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation. "Everybody thought it was so great we had an eve- ning program you could come to after dinner. People were just amazed that the museum was open at night." With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum decided to continue the fledgling Distinguished Speaker Series, pushing programs out online via zoom. James Patterson and Matt Everson spoke during one such zoom session about their book, "e Walk." During another installment of the series, a member of the National Archives spoke about museum work and some of the behind-the-scenes things they experienced working for the National Archives. Collins will be the first in-person speaker since the beginning of the pandemic. "With the pandemic lifting a bit we feel we can bring [the series] back to full speed in person," Lane said. "Col. Collins will be here on the eve of na- tional POW MIA Recognition Day." e timing of his talk is significant. Collins spent seven and a half years as a prisoner of war by the North Viet- namese. Collins had been flying with his squadron out of ailand in Sep- tember of 1965 when he was forced to eject from his plane. He was captured when he hit the ground. During his imprisonment, he and his cell mate, the late senator John McCain, worked to keep each other's spirits up. In an interview with Spectrum News in 2021, Collins mentioned forming a choir and singing "Oh Holy Night" as a way to help bolster hope within the prison camp. Collins was released in 1973 as part of Operation Homecoming and retired from service in 1974. He was awarded two Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts. "He has unbelievable stories and the heroic actions he had taken as an Air Force pilot during Vietnam ... If you come and hear him, you won't believe he's alive to tell these stories," said Lane. Lane said the museum has plans to continue the Distinguished Speaker Series and is looking forward to the next few months. In October, the talk will center around a current exhibit at ASOM regarding the Holocaust and the cou- rageous actions of the Bielski Broth- ers. Lane is working in conjunction with the Florida Holocaust Museum regarding the speaker of the event. "e more we do this, the more rou- tine it will be for the public to think "oh hey what's going on down at the ASOM?" is is no small undertaking for us, but we feel it's important for the public," Lane said. "We have plenty of free parking, we have a beautiful building and a nice auditorium. We have to use it as much as possible to bring the community in, let them know what we are doing." e Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Collins will be held Sept. 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the ASOM's Yarborough Bank eater. Collins will also be signing copies of his memoir, "Into the Blue," during the event. Tickets are $10 for active military, $15 for civilians. Books are also available for pre- purchase with the price of admission for $40 for existing Museum Friends and $50 for those who do not yet have a Museum Friend membership. Tickets can be purchased at https:// shop.asomf.org/quincy-collins/.

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