Vietnam POW Capt. Guy Gruters to Speak at STM

St. Thomas More High School will host retired United States Air Force Captain Guy D. Gruters, who was held captive for more than five years during the Vietnam War, on Friday, May 4 at 1:55 p.m. in the school’s Jerry Huennekens Gymnasium.

Capt. Gruters will discuss his experience in the armed forces, how he survived five years as a prisoner of war (including in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”), and his relationship with Milwaukee hero Captain Lance P. Sijan. Parents, alumni, and other members of the community are invited to attend this free event.

“In Capt. Gruters, students will see and hear a man who embodies the virtues of personal humility and selfless duty,” said Mike Greuel, director of St. Thomas More’s Center for Servant Leadership & Civic Engagement. “Through his inspiring story, he will challenge students to become leaders who serve others before themselves, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in.”

Capt. Gruters served in the US Air Force and was imprisoned in Vietnam for five years and three months.

Capt. Gruters’s presentation represents the capstone of the Servant Leadership curriculum. Founded in partnership with the EveryDayGood Foundation, the Center for Servant Leadership & Civic Engagement provides students with strategies for effective leadership and stresses shared, societal values, such as humility, honor, and community, while giving students opportunities to leave their comfort zone and gain self-confidence. This four-year, tiered curriculum utilizes dynamic guest speakers, mentorship, hands-on service opportunities, all-class retreats, and ongoing journaling and personal reflection to equip students with the skills and motivation needed to follow in Jesus’s footsteps to become servant leaders in their community.

“In today’s day and age, it is crucial for our students to know that no matter what hardships they may face, God is constantly present with them as they navigate through life,” principal Nicholas Kelly said. “Capt. Gruters’s story is the quintessential message to our students that through Christ, all things are possible.”

Past speakers sponsored by the Center for Servant Leadership & Civic Engagement include Green Bay Packers legend LeRoy Butler, Milwaukee businessman Richard R. Pieper, Holocaust survivor Nathan Taffel, and, last year’s capstone speaker, US Marine and Iran Hostage Crisis-detainee Kevin Hermening.

Parents, alumni, and members of the community are encouraged to RSVP for this event to ensure adequate seating.


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