Joplin VFW Post 534 holds ceremony recognizing POWs, MIAs
One man honored, was a POW for 9 months
JOPLIN, Mo. — VFW Post 534 in Joplin held a ceremony to recognize prisoners of war and those still missing in action. We bring you the story of one man, who was a POW for nine months during World War 2.
Keith Fiscus, a fixture at the 15th street Walmart in Joplin, has a history that goes beyond greeting people at the door for nearly 40 years. He was in army intelligence, and reported directly to General Patton during World War 2, and, he spent nine months, as a German prisoner of war.
Keith Fiscus, former POW says “Just right after we come back from the battle of the bulge, it was awfully cold, and there was a pill box so I got inside, and it was nice and warm, and then the German’s counter-attacked and captured me. And, they knew, I don’t know how, but they knew I was in the intelligence and they wanted to know particular questions like, ‘where are the American units stationed’ and I knew I didn’t want to tell them that.”
Fiscus says his concern was the German’s would mount a massive strike against American forces, so he kept quiet, but the Germans, still wanted the information. “They said they would send me to a place that they could get answers out of me, which was a concentration camp in southern Germany.”
Despite the harsh conditions, Fiscus still didn’t give up his fellow soldiers. The Germans starved him, he says he went in weighing 180 pounds, and when he was liberated, his weight had dropped to 93. But he knew he had to survive. “In the spring of the year, I actually survived by eating some of the grass.”
Fiscus is 94 years old now, still working at Walmart. He says it’s important to remember the POW’s and those still missing in action not just today, but everyday.
Today’s event was part of a national POW/MIA recognition day.
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