An ex-prisoner of war visited Florida A&M University’s Naval ROTC unit and shared his experiences with military personnel.
Roy Livingstone entered the U.S. Army in December 1941. He became a prisoner of war in World War II when his plane, Roughhouse, was shot down April 17, 1943 over Germany.
Livingstone, who was a POW for two years, remembers the incident. In a speech given last Thursday morning at the Perry Paige auditorium, Livingstone focused on his experiences as a POW, he remembered the days that he was hungry and fighting for survival.
“When I look at my own experiences, I realized how fortunate I am compared to other POWs,” Livingstone said. “The memories still play through my mind.”
Livingstone mentioned the moment he remembers most.
“The one day I won’t forget is liberation,” said Livingstone. “I remember seeing the American flag on a jeep and the honor that I felt when I was still able to salute and say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Livingstone’s speech was short and straight to the point, but it touched the hearts of many who were in his presence.
“It makes you feel emotional because you actually get to hear a story of someone who has been through such an amazing experience,” said Machelle Crawford, 19, a Florida State University nursing student.
After Livingstone’s speech, a brief ceremony was held outside of the Naval ROTC unit in honor of POWs.
“It was an honor to have him in our presence,” said Marine Instructor Maj. Belinda Twohig. “He is an example of the contributions that our service members are making for country.”
After Livingstone’s liberation, he returned to the United States and attended Colby College and the University of Maine. Livingstone has held positions in sales, public relations, advertising, research and development, publisher of Pro-Am Sports Magazine, and US Golf News Magazine. Livingstone retired in 1992.
He is currently the director of the American Ex-Prisoners of War Service Foundation.
Richlyn Neal can be reached at email@example.com