Kansas City, MO – May 05, 2010 - On Saturday, April 10, National War Hero, Commander (CDR) Everett Alvarez (Ret.) briefed the United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) on his experiences as a Prisoner of War (POW) during the Vietnam War. CDR Bill Serad and STG Myers invited CDR Alvarez to be their guest speaker for the Annual All Hands Training held at the Staff War College in Norfolk, Virginia.
CDR Alvarez, who currently serves on the Board of Governors for Grantham University, spoke about the eight and a half years he spent as the first and longest held POW in Vietnam. He was taken prisoner on August 5, 1964 after his plane was shot down and held in North Vietnam until the general release of the American prisoners on February 12, 1973. He explained how important communication was between him and his fellow prisoners, and how his faith was the key to his survival. He also talked about how his educational pursuits helped him transition from his military career to running a successful business, Alvarez & Associates.
At the conclusion of the presentation, CDR Alvarez accepted questions from the audience of 300 active duty and reserve personnel, which included Four Star General Mattis, Commander of the US Joint Forces Command. In addition, CDR Alvarez autographed copies of his book, Chained Eagle.
Following CDR Alvarez' briefing, retired Master Chief Petty Officer John Begley, regional director of military programs at Grantham University, followed with a presentation about GI Bill benefits and the important role education played during his 30 year military career.
Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr. (Ret.) is a distinguished Naval officer and government executive. Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1980, Commander Alvarez has held numerous notable positions. Included are Deputy Director of the U.S. Peace Corps; Deputy Administrator of what was then the Veterans Administration; and Chairman of the CARES Commission, a 16-member, independent panel chartered by the Secretary to recommend critical change within the Veteran Affairs Department.
CDR Alvarez is the former Chairman of the Board of Regents of The Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland. His wife, Tammy, is founder and President of Friends of USU, Inc., a non-profit all-volunteer membership organization. The Friends of USU, Inc. is dedicated to supporting the USU mission and promoting public awareness of this unique University. Established by Congress in 1972, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is the nation's fully accredited, federally funded school of Health Sciences. Its education, research and consultation programs are unique, relating directly to military medicine, tropical diseases, disaster medicine, military medical readiness and adaptation to extreme environments.
Commander Alvarez holds numerous military decorations, some of which are: the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit (with Combat "V"), two Bronze Stars (with Combat "V"), the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Purple Heart Medals.