Survival: A Spiritual Renewal for Scott O'Grady


by Al Siebert, PhD

THRIVEnet Story of the Month - February, 1996

Captain Scott O'Grady, the fighter pilot shot down over Bosnia in June, 1995, evaded capture and survived for six very cold days and nights with little water and no food. Scott lost 25 pounds during his ordeal and was so chilled at the time of his rescue that his body temperature was down to 95.2 degrees.

His book, Return With Honor, (Bantam Doubleday Dell, ©1995), is a superb account of the inner thoughts and feelings that lead to surviving and shows how a person can emerge from a survival experience a better person.

Read his book and see how many survivor personality qualities he demonstrates. I found examples of:

  • Rapid reality reading.
  • Benefits from praying.
  • Not discouraged by mistakes.
  • Accepting one's humaness.
  • The will to live.
  • Flexibility.
  • Creative adapting.
  • Following a survival plan.
  • Doing whatever it takes.
  • Humor.
  • Maintaining survivor alertness.
  • Disclaiming being a hero.
  • Feeling blessed.

Afterwards O'Grady said in a television interview "The entire experience, as funny as this sounds, those six days were, well, the most positive experience of my life. It was just quite amazing."

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