POWs reunite after more than 60 years

September 25, 2008 3:51:02 PM PDT
Edward O'Sullivan and Harles Miller have been through a lot. They were prisoners of war who escaped their captors in Germany during World War II. Thursday, they saw each other for the first time since their escape. Reunions are something to cherish and to look forward to. Two Army veterans, who fought in World War II were prisoners of war together and escaped, were finally reunited after 63 years.

As the war raged on May 8th, 1945, Edward O'Sullivan escaped from a prison camp in Germany with three other soldiers. Among them was Harles Miller of Michigan. Thursday, 63 years later, the two remaining veterans of the 12th Army Division are reunited for lunch at the Flame restaurant in Countryside.

"It's wonderful. I have thought about the four of us many times. I think Harles looks terrific. I would know him even if I met him in the street," said Edward O'Sullivan, World War II veteran.

"This is important for me," said Harles Miller, World War II veteran.

As prisoners of war they slept together and had to share a blanket for warmth.

What kept them going?

"What actually kept me going was the will to live. I wasn't married then. I wasn't engaged," said Miller.

"I thought about Gladys a lot," said O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan is a retired Chicago fireman. He says he never forgot his first love Gladys Heenan while he was being held. When he returned from the war she was married. Ten years ago they ran into each other accidently, she a widow, and he a widower. Today they are together again.

"I wish we would have known he was still alive and he was a prisoner of war. But also I think everyone thought he was captured and killed," said Heenan.

"It's an unbelievable moment for me. I'm the youngest and I didn't know anything about my dad being a prisoner of war," said Pat O'Sullivan, O'Sullivan's son.

The former POWs say they cherish seeing each other again

"Feels a little like we've been together all this time," said O'Sullivan.

"In a way it feels like time has passed, but on the other hand, time passes so fast," said Miller.

O'Sullivan and Miller say they feel great and are fairly healthy. Since they only live 100 miles apart, they intend to stay in touch and see each other. They say they will now share their World War II experience with their families, but first they have to catch up with each other.


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