Local POW shares his story of survivial

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DOTHAN, AL (WTVY) Sgt. Daniel Stamaris, Jr. of Headland, Alabama served his country during Desert Storm.

“I was a U-H 60 crew chief,” said Sgt. Stamaris.

He was on a mission when his Blackhawk helicopter was shot down.

“I lost five of my personnel on board, three of us survived, although I was kind of separated from the other two."

Sgt. Stamaris suffered life threatening injuries and became a prisoner of war.

"I was left to die overnight at one point.”

Sgt. Stamaris was held captive eight days before being rescued. Friday, he was among hundreds attending Fort Rucker's POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony. It’s held every year in remembrance of those imprisoned during conflicts and those who remain missing.

“I had 10 men killed and we ended up with three MIA’s,” said Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting.

Mayor Bunting knows the sacrifices of war. As a company commander in Vietnam, Bunting says ceremonies like these are important.

“Our country remains great and I think it will always remain great,” said Bunting.

Friday's tribute a great reminder of the sacrifices of freedom - and that those who never came home will never be forgotten.

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