For a motivational speech for business, military, elementary schools through universities, churches and religious organizations, please simply call Guy's office at 419-953-1083
I have some exciting news! A movie is in process called Heroic Love, based on the love shown by soldiers for soldiers, by Lance Sijan's ultimate sacrifice, awarded the Medal of Honor, by my brother, Terry, relentlessly attacking on the powerful mission that freed me from prison camp, by my wife, Sandy, in her faithful six year wait for me, her continuous work and prayers for my release, by my parents, other brother and sisters, by all my family and by millions of Americans. Please enjoy the website and become a "Friend of Heroic Love," at;
I was chained up, locked up, for my country, after more than 400 combat missions.
In combat, my call sign was Misty.
"Misty, GET OUT, GET OUT, YOU'RE A BALL OF FIRE, EJECT, EJECT!" F-4 Phantom "Gunfighter" Lead, November 9, 1967
MISTY Fast FAC F-100F over Dong Hoi, North Vietnam; site of Guy's first shoot down, the burning and explosion of his fighter, and of his rescue just offshore under heavy gunfire by combat search and rescue personnel, the bravest men in the world.
Second Shootdown, Captured December 20th, 1967, Then Five Years, Three Months in a Communist Prison. All drawings are by Captain Mike McGrath, USN (Ret), from his book Prisoner of War.
Released March 14th, 1973. Coming Home Flight, USAF C-141;
Guy greets his family on return;
US AIR FORCE ACADEMY POW Memorial Dedication April 23, 2015:
Guy signing Memorial Gift for General Yates, who made it happen.
USAFA POW MEMORIAL PLAQUE;
I share lessons learned on how to establish high-performance team building in any organization (military, corporate, business, religious, or family) using proven techniques and principles that worked in the toughest conditions imaginable. We were the "unbroken" team of the War in Vietnam and returned with honor.
Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, by Peter Fretwell and Taylor Baldwin, says it best;
"If personnel are part of a high-performance team that is continually learning, that is willing to make mistakes in order to succeed, that puts mission ahead of personal interests while protecting individual team members, the chances are high that the culture will remain relevant, no matter what the future holds.
All the former Vietnam POWs continue to live and promulgate the mission Return with Honor. They know their successes can help future POWs, their nation, and future generations. Refusing to rest on their laurels, they continue to give back. With sixteen generals, six admirals, two U.S. ambassadors, two college presidents, one presidential candidate, one vice presidential candidate, two U.S. senators, two U.S. representatives, a state governor, several state legislators, many CEOs and numerous presidential and gubernatorial political appointments in their ranks, it is difficult to overstate their leadership impact on this nation."
Solitude, Torture, Conditions, Lessons of POW Life in North Vietnam
High-performance Leadership/Teamwork/Team Building Principles that Work and are Universal
Corporate, Business Leadership/Teamwork/Team Building
Military Leadership/Teamwork/Team Building
School Leadership/Teamwork/Team Building
Family Leadership/Teamwork/Team Building
Sport Team's Leadership/Teamwork/Team Building
Addresses for Memorial Day, POW/MIA Day, Veteran's Day
Forgiveness of Enemies (and Spouse, Children, Relatives, Friends)
Overcoming Hatred, An End to Hatred
Conversion to Strong, Sure Faith in Prison Camp
Community Prayer Breakfasts
Church Prayer Breakfasts
There are consistently record attendances at events engaging Guy because of the draw of the unique POW experience. The talks share real-world lessons learned the hard way, are well delivered, and are as positive as can be. Speeches can be given anywhere domestic and overseas, however, most have been in the United States, most commonly Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennysylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Guy is a published Motivational Speaker (POW, Fighter Pilot, Businessman, Family man)
on four primary topics; Leadership: Teamwork: Humility: Forgiveness
(See a synopsis of each one below)
Call Guy's office to arrange a talk on Corporate, Business, Military, Family, Sports or School Leadership/Teamwork or a talk on the spiritual topics of Forgiveness/Overcoming Hatred/Conversion;
Guy's new book is LOCKED UP WITH GOD, My Best Thirteen Speeches
A Book for the Family, Father and Soldier
A Book to Help One and All Get Closer to God
A Book to Lock Yourself Up with in Your Room and Read
Buy it now,
Treasure it for the rest of your life
Guy at US Air Force Academy
Sandy at Florida State University
Guy & Sandy were blessed with two children before Vietnam.
Guy flew more than 400 combat missions, shot down twice, more than 30 combat medals, including two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, two DFCs, more than five years a POW.
Sandy waited at home six years, two weeks, aged 24 to 30.
Guy & Sandy were blessed with six children after Vietnam.
Guy closed the largest sale in IBM history by a single IBM salesman (48 million dollars).
Guy was later VP/MIS for a billion dollar corporation.
Guy and his brother, Terry, have started and owned their own successful software company since 1979.
Guy & Sandy's family is now eight children, fourteen grandchildren
*** Leadership (Motivating & Serving the Team): When It Is Hard to Lead
Being a leader when all are dependent on you for their very life and mental stability
* Character, Humility
Man in the Arena
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
To whom it may concern,
On April 16, 2013, Guy Gruters spoke as the keynote speaker at the Reliable Plant Conference and Exhibition. There were more than 1,400 attendees and 100 companies present from 26 nations. The annual event was held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and sponsored by many industry-leading companies, including Shell Lubricants.
Guy spoke on Teamwork and Leadership and did a wonderful job. His presentation was very relevant to this subject. All attendees enjoyed it and received much wisdom and inspiration from his testimony of being in tough conditions and still obeying the leader and getting things done.
Guy’s presentation brought tears to many eyes because he spoke of what he and other soldiers went through so that our country could remain free. His analogies and comparisons were very well understood. Anyone in his shoes would have had a hard time living, much less participating on a team established in the Communist prison camp.
Guy gave examples of heroic leadership that were truly inspiring and worthy of praise. I walked away a better leader and team player than I was before his presentation and am sure all those who heard his speech benefited in the same way. I would gladly attend his presentation again and would recommend it to any company or organization.
*** Teamwork (Serving the Leader & Each Other): When the Going Gets Tough
Superior lessons on doing things together as a team based on experience in very difficult conditions
The Law of the Jungle
Now this is the Law of the Jungle – as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the Law runneth forward and back –
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Rudyard Kipling, Second Jungle Book
TEAMWORK: USS Lexington Hangar Deck, Corpus Christi, TX, 11/7/14
To: JD Went, Michelle Y Gallagher
Subject: VRG Corpus Summit, November 7, 2014
I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to your summit, I had a wonderful time and the speaker was amazing! I captured some pics for y'all, see if we can get them to everyone. Thank You,
To: James D. Went
Subject: VRG Banquet, USS Lexington, Nov 7th
J.D., we really enjoyed the evening at the Lexington with Guy Gruters and his story. I watched his homecoming on You Tube and I have to say I have watched it three times already. It was an honor to say that if it wasn't for you and your hard work to have brought this gentleman here, we wouldn't have had the pleasure of listening to his story and meeting him. My husband was one of the fortunate ones to receive a book. (I can't put it down) It was an eye opener and we are looking forward to next year. Thank you for your service J.D. and all that you do, Sir. You have yourself a GREAT DAY!
Thanks again and HAPPY VETERANS DAY! WELL WISHES!
Monica Robles: Drilling Fluids Administrator
Subject: VRG Banquet, USS Lexington, Nov 7th
To: Went, James D.
J.D., awesome speaker and presentation at the VRG Banquet. My wife, son and I really enjoyed the testimony and work ethic message of the evening . We can all apply the work ethic and inspiration of Guy Gruters to our daily lives, shared during the evening. Met some great Baker Hughes employees and look forward to the next get together.
I hope to get Roger Brooks with Operation Wounded Warrior involved with the next event.
Thanks again for putting the evening together as an encouragement to both veterans as well as employees.
Lee E. Enderle | Manufacturing Supervisor
TEAMWORK: A five-state U.S. Government Conference, Frankenmuth, MI 9/17/15
Date:September 23, 2015
Thank you for speaking at our All Employee Meeting at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, MI, on September 17th.. I have had many positive comments about your presentation “The Importance of Teamwork”. Our employees were moved by your experiences as a P.O.W. There are many times we take our freedoms for granted and you brought light to that. Also, your examples of how you worked together as one and communicated in some of the most horrendous of conditions showed our group that we really don’t have room to complain about trivial things like slow internet service or a fellow employee who may not be providing needed information at the speed we would like. Thank you for opening our eyes to a time that many of us really may not have understood.
Again, thank you for speaking to our group. It was a pleasure meeting both you and Sandy.
Mideast Marketing Area
*** Forgiveness: A Way to Imitate Christ
Learn how I learned to forgive my captors, who killed my friend, beat and tortured me
... A storm of harsh treatment followed quickly. My captors beat me, humiliated me, spit on me. They tortured me. They killed my friend for no reason. They hardly fed us. They treated us worse than dogs. Bugs and worms and rats were everywhere. It was hell on earth and I was living in it...
No one can imagine what it was like to shiver from cold, or to sweat from heat for days on end. No one can imagine being kicked and beaten and hung by ropes. No one can imagine the filth and the lack of medical care. Six out of every seven of us died, and I was ready to go at any moment...
I prayed: God save me from my sins. Save me from hating others...
Can you imagine being happy and joyful in a prison camp? Can you imagine having peace of mind, not knowing if you were going to live or die that day? Can you imagine praying for those who kicked you, beat you, fed you bread with rat excrement in it and water with worms in it?
Click below for Two Page Magazine Article Synopsis of Speech:
Peter Menkin July 5, 2016
Journalist seeks to interview Capt. Gruters re his faith and time as POW; review his book
Dear Captain Gruters:
Thank you very much for your phone call of this morning, Tuesday, June 5, 2016. Though it was an early phone call at about 6 a..m., I was awake and just at my desk. My desk is in the corner of my living room in my apartment. This is where I do my work as a writer, and make my phone calls. I even go on Skype at this desk of mine.
Here is the email I wrote yesterday evening and sent you via Facebook messenger. I searched for you using various avenues, and you may get this same email again hearing from others through those avenues. Your patience with my numerous efforts to reach you is appreciated. It was just great to actually get the phone call you made to me this morning in light of all those efforts. The Facebook effort worked best, apparently. It was my last try.
Note: Air Force Captain who was POW 5 years, 3months, Hanoi Hilton. He spoke of his Forgiveness of the torturers at St. Hillary’s Church, Tiburon, CA. My wife and I attended the Church to hear the Captain speak, and enjoy the evening fundraiser.
I write for the Church of England Newspaper, London, and am in my 12th or more year of association with the publication.
I attended an event at St. Hillary’s Catholic Church in Tiburon, California with my wife where I heard Captain Guy D. Gruters speak.
I am interested in talking with Captain Gruters to get a sense of how I might approach a longer and more fulfilling interview with him on his experiences in the Hanoi Hilton. I need to speak with him of his learning about Forgiveness and courage. I will send my questions in advance, in writing, most likely.
I plan to review his book as well for Church of England Newspaper, London.
He was so very inspiring when he spoke of his religious and prayerful life as a POW, and the work he and others at the Hanoi Hilton did to strengthen their lives and souls in relationship to God. He talks of how he devoted his life in the service of his country as a pilot, and as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and an Officer in the United States Air Force. He fought the Vietnamese, whom he characterized as the enemy in that war in Vietnam as a fighter pilot.
The Communist Vietnamese were cruel to the Prisoners of Hanoi Hilton beyond belief, to hear the Captain tell of his experience and observations of his time with his colleagues, who were friends and comrades in arms. All were American Prisoners.
The most famous of the Prisoners was a pilot, and became U.S. Senator, John McCain.
I did not know of the faith, and of the Christian practices of the imprisoned at Hanoi Hilton, until I heard Captain Guy Gruters speak. The papers may have touched on these matters, and John McCain probably did speak of them. I remember something about the major papers reporting these matters of Christian faith. But only dimly so, not so vibrantly, and in such testimony as Captain Guy D. Gruters spoke of the Christian Faith at the Hanoi Hilton at St. Hillary’s that Sunday. St. Hillary's was a very good venue for the subject, and the audience had the right mind set, or set of ears. The children did too. There were many children, some young.
Senator McCain was no stranger to this activity of religious practice as a Christian. The mainstream press never reported how the prisoners of Hanoi Hilton prayed and practiced their faith as Christians in so fantastic and full a manner, not as I understood it told by Captain Gruters. I want to repeat, I never knew of Captain Guy D. Gruters until I heard him speak at St. Hillary’s Church in Tiburon, California! Thank God I did get to hear him speak of his willingness to serve his country as a part of the military in war, and of his faith in God and his prayer life and time as a Prisoner of War. I can hardly recall, if at all, hearing any man speak in this manner about these acts regarding the war in Vietnam in my lifetime. That was another reason I was in awe. His was a true statement of patriotism. His were genuine acts of patriotism, ones so many admire and salute. He is heaven sent, and on his way to heaven as an American. If I may say so, Captain Gruters is the kind of man who makes a great ally. That he is able to find the strength to talk about forgiveness of his captors, and his time in prayer with Christ in God that helped him in this way of the heart is a miracle of a kind. He and his comrades in arms can speak of courage, as he does. They do this when they talk with Diane Sawyer on ABC in her report when the video of three of the Prisoners of War are shown with others at the Dinner at the Nixon White House honoring them:
This is why I want to contact Captain Guy D. Gruters as a journalist and writer.
It is not only the Captain's faith and devotional practices that interest me as outlined in his talk, but also to get permission to use perhaps three of the videos that have him speaking, etc. He spoke so forcefully, with so much to say about being a Prisoner of War. He had so much of importance to say about the war in Vietnam, and about what it was to be shot down and taken by the enemy. He was a man of enormous heroism, and his testimony, and his story told are a living reminder of what men suffered to keep us all free. Americans need to be told about that unpopular war that is remembered in ways that have failed to recognize the evils of what went on in prison camps, and specifically in the Hanoi Hilton. We even fail to recognize that the Vietnamese were Communists, and that they were and are Communists to this day, and what that means. Communists hate Christians.
Captain Guy D. Gruters faithfully served his nation and survived more than 5 years of prison, returning to speak to us about his wartime experience. His is a remarkable tale of courage and plain endurance beyond belief. Thank God for his safe return home.
I will work at a story that does not gush, and one that turns towards being even handed, though I will tend to tell readers how impressed I was with the Captain. I will also write how much I was in awe of his testimony, and report what he has to say to me when I talk to him in the interview. I plan to do an introduction of course, giving a background that is a kind of biography of the Captain. As a journalist and writer, I will tell readers of my awe.
My sense of awe was genuine and filled with a kind of joy knowing that someone could find Christ in a way he found Christ when in the Hanoi Hilton. What a testimony to God's power. Thank God for his willingness to be attentive and helped by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
When he finished talking, he came and stood in the aisle listening to the singing group for a while and was standing within three feet of where I sat in the pews. I was glad to be so close. I was even a little awed to be in his presence: to hear of his personal and private prayer with God.
I believe a great many in the Church that evening were moved by hearing his truthful words, and have him speak to us in person, alive and as is said, in the flesh. We were glad for the goodness that is still in our world in the midst of so very much that is terribly evil. The Captain epitomized this goodness; he represented goodness through his actions. He earned goodness through prayer and in his faith. The many of us were in awe for our own personal reasons to see him in the Church. We must have numbered about 300 or so, I am guessing. The Roman Catholic Church in Tiburon, California, near where I live In Mill Valley, but six miles north of San Francisco by car across The Golden Gate Bridge, is named St. Hillary’s. It is a arge, wealthy, and beautiful Church. Some from other denominations were present, as was I with my wife, a Catholic. I am Episcopalian.
The web site for St. Hillary’s is here:
I sometimes review books, and movies, too. I plan on reading his book, Locked Up with God, and reviewing it for the paper. My work appears web only.
I’ve talked to the editor, Mr. Blakely, about my keen interest in talking with Captain Guy D. Gruters. I related to the editor of the paper that is published primarily for Anglican readers, how much I learned from the Captain about courage and matters of faith. I was especially intrigued with his moving tribute regarding forgiveness. My wife and I were moved and enjoyed in our hearts hearing his testimony and talk.
I hope I can interest Captain Guy D. Gruters in giving me an hour for an initial conversation by phone. I may take some notes, and they will be for the record, unless he says what he says is not for attribution.
During my years of writing a column with Church of England Newspaper, London, I must have written easily more than 600 pieces.
The paper is not affiliated with the Church of England in any way. The names are similar, though.
You will find some links to a few of my reviews and articles if you search online.
Mill Valley, California, USA
October 21, 2014
Dearest Guy and Sandy,
Thank you for the honor of your presence and the gift of your words at our annual dinner at TLS Veterans. I cannot articulate how inspiring you both are and what a privilege it was to be seated in the middle of such heroism and unconditional love as I felt last night. The impact of last evening was transformational to me personally as well as everyone who joined me to welcome you both. I shall move forward in my life with my eyes much wider opened, my heart much more forgiving, and many more moments spent everyday thanking the good Lord for all of my blessings.
Betty Jean Hartwig
Executive Director, TLS Veteans
February 7, 2016
Guy, I want to pass on a comment from one of the ladies that attended your talk at Guardian Angels Church:
"Just want you to know how much I enjoyed hearing Mr. Guy Gruters speak! And his wife was delightful! As a former military wife and sister to a brother who had the honor of flying the last "unknown" Vietnam soldier in to Dover AFB in 1983, along with parents who served during WWII (my dad a pilot on the Corsair, and my mom a Marine, who worked on the Corsair as a mechanic..........she "grounded" him!........I have a lot of passion for ALL soldiers and their families! In fact, I hope to volunteer for the Wounded Warrior project, or something like that one day. Again, thanks to the men's club for bringing Mr. Gruter's as a speaker. I only wish John and I would have gone to the dinner at Lake Elmo that night............my own fault as I didn't realize we could have signed up to do so. Maybe next time! Let me know if you ever need help in the future with entertaining guest speakers as such...........I have had many dignitaries in our home and when I was connected to the Army as a wife, especially while we served at Fort Levenworth. (All of this was with my former husband, not John, but John and I have entertained Bishops and the like and are very comfortable with that!) Happy to help in that regard!"
As well, I think most of the people who attended felt very good about your talk. Afterwards, some of the men shared with me some very positive thoughts from your talk, too. Suzanne and I were absolutely delighted to meet Sandy and you and have dinner at the Lake Elmo Inn that evening. Blessings to you and Sandy! God is in control!
Peace and joy,
*** Finding God In Prison Camp: Locked Up With God
How I found my God in the prison camps of North Vietnam
Fruit of God's Love Within
Now this is the Blessing of God’s Tender Love - who chooses such love has been saved;
For the soul that obeys lives forever, and no worries for life or the grave.
To give, care and share with our Dad; to give, care and share with our neighbor,
With forgiveness for all, judgement for none, perfection in all the day's labour.
As the Heavens quiet the evening, His Law gives the peace of a dove,
For the spawn of God’s Love is each soul, and the goal of each soul is God’s Love.
With prayer, His Grace works the miracle, Love's creature made gentle and mild,
Then courage in all our troubles and trials, with a smile in our work here below,
For Father allows only the best each moment, what a great comfort to know,
So the Fruit of God’s Love Within (through it all), is the peace and the joy of Love's child.
Hello, Guy and Sandy,
Guy's talk on Teamwork/Leadership in Difficult Conditions has been well-received by all audiences (Always a standing ovation);
Recent Corporate, Business Clients/Sponsors (keynote or primary speaker) include:
Shell Oil Corp.
Southern Electric Corporation
There have also been numerous speeches given this past year to schools, military units, churches and prisons domestic and overseas (>35).
Friends and Family,
I would like to announce that my book "Locked Up With God" is now available as a printed copy on Amazon.com as well as an ePub on Kindle, Apple iBooks or Nook. This book has been endorsed by Colonel Bud Day, Medal of Honor recipient, and others. It delineates valuable lessons learned throughout my life regarding faith, family, business and the military.
Locked up with God: My Best Thirteen Speeches, by Capt. Guy D Gruters, Vietnam POW
This book covers many topics and subjects. The talks that have been transcribed are great ones. The moral teachings revealed are outstanding. I have known Guy for many, many years. He is a hero in my book. He walked the walk.
I strongly recommend and endorse this book and know that any who read it will be greatly touched and affected in a positive way. I particulary strongly recommend it be read by young men in the military, especially in the Air Force.
Words never die and these words will last and be doing much good long after I and Guy are long gone. Guy has given and will be leaving behind a great gift to his countrymen and women and I am very proud that my name will be used to help others read and keep this book on their bookshelf for years to come.
In the spirit of our great country,
Colonel George E. “Bud” Day, U.S.A.F.
Medal of Honor
A fighter in World War II (US Marine, Pacific, more than two years), then Air Force Fighter Pilot in the Korean War and the War in Vietnam, Colonel George E. "Bud" Day was the most decorated Air Force officer in history, and the most decorated military officer in America to his death at 88 in July, 2013. His funeral, with more than eight hundred vehicles in procession for forty miles, was saluted and cheered by more than 200,000 people lining the highway from Ft. Walton Beach to the National Cemetary at NAS Pensacola, Florida.
The complete "Taps," originally "Il Silencio," (The Silence), in honor of Bud Day;
For those that missed it, this is a link to the ABC interview on the Nixon Foundation coverage of the 40th year POW reunion, held in Yorba Linda, CA. Our interview (Charlie Plumb, Lee Ellis, and myself), the one that was shown Tuesday night (May 27, 2013) on ABC World News Tonight by Diane Sawyer, is featured toward the bottom of the page and
can be seen by clicking on the arrow (The video title is: Remembering the POWs of the Vietnam War). It also has very nice additional coverage of the reunion.
Best and God Bless,
Guy and Sandy
This is the Video by the Nixon Foundation on the 40th YEAR POW Reunion hosted by the Nixon Library, with Guy appearing multiple times
Guy and Sandy at the POW 40th Year Reunion, Nixon Library, May 24th, 2013
October 4, 2013
Locked Up With God – Review by Joe Crecca
Guy Gruters is one of those rare individuals who combine feelings of intense patriotism and love of the United States of America with an even more fundamental and deeper love of God.
As a “Misty”, “Fast FAC”, F-100 fighter pilot on the most dangerous missions, Guy Gruters was shot down not once, but twice. Through his unwavering belief in God and through prayer he was able to overcome his hatred towards the enemy, endure excruciating torture and survive over five years of brutal captivity in the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison system in communist North Vietnam.
In “Locked Up With God” Guy Gruters is able to coalesce the ostensibly unrelated themes of Faith, Family, Forgiveness and Suffering with War, Patriotism and Heroism interlaced with actual combat accounts into a cohesive and gripping narrative.
When flying missions in small, slow-moving, spotter aircraft, his selflessness and courage saved the lives of those surrounded by an enemy in overwhelming numbers more than once. On one occasion, he even landed his 0-1 “Bird Dog" at a Special Forces Camp under siege so that he could determine the precise locations of the enemy firing positions before once again taking off under intense enemy fire to direct fighter airstrikes, saving the encampment from being overrun by 500 North Vietnamese Regular soldiers. On another mission, he was directly responsible for the rescue of six LRRPs (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol soldiers) surrounded by a strong enemy force in stormy, night weather.
I can personally attest to Guy Gruters' honesty, integrity and faith; I was one of his cell mates as a Prisoner-of-War with him in the Hanoi Hilton. Guy is one of the closest friends I will ever have.
Guy and Sandy Gruters are parents of eight children, two before six years of combat in Vietnam and six after. Guy is an F-100 Fighter Pilot, small business owner/CEO and Corporate Executive VP who speaks positively and enthusiastically on lessons learned during more than five years spent as a P.O.W. in a North Vietnamese Communist Prison Camp, on more than four hundred combat missions flown in South and North Vietnam before capture and time in the POW camp, and on business and family experiences since. He was awarded more than 30 combat medals, including two silver stars, two distinguished flying crosses, two bronze stars for heroism, and two purple hearts. His fighter aircraft was shot down twice over North Vietnam. He was rescued by Jolly Greens after the first and captured after the second. The suffering in prison camp was intense 24/7 year after year without any end in sight. Time crawled. Six out of seven men in Guy's situation were tortured to death or killed in one way or another by the Russians and North Vietnamese during those years. He is a motivational speaker with an engaging, warm, positive, inspirational manner for Corporate or Christian keynote, leadership, youth or conference events. Guy describes the various aspects of those combat and prison camp experiences, ranging from the specific conditions of imprisonment to individual tales of heroic courage and leadership, such as that of Capt. Lance P. Sijan. Capt. Sijan was a Medal of Honor winner who was tortured to death while with Guy in prison camp. Upon return to the United States, Guy was a successful CEO of a small computer business, then Director and VP-MIS for billion dollar corporations, and speaks convincingly of leadership, teamwork, and personal values necessary for success. Guy and his wife, Sandy, who waited faithfully for six years until his return, raised seven children during these years and have since adopted an eighth. This unique combination of experiences allows for a tailored approach for your organization's theme or requirements. It has also been an excellent audience draw for events featuring Guy as one of the speakers. As seen in the examples below, audience evaluations have been consistently superior.
Centrally located in Ohio, Guy is a motivational speaker available to talk throughout the United States and overseas. Simply call his office at 419-953-1083.
His extremely effective presentations as a motivational speaker relate the combat and/or prison camp experiences that apply to and make sense for the audience's interests and the event's theme. This tailoring is done by working with the event coordinator. Please see the "Speaker" web page of this website for a list of representative topics and speeches that can be used virtually "as is" or combined into a new presentation.
Excerpt: About the MISTY FACs, lead in to first shootdown;
Excerpt: Capt. Lance Sijan, the beginning;
October 11, 2013
Thank you for the autographed book, Locked Up With God. Thank you even more for serving your country and becoming the person you are today. Everyone loved having you at ILCA. I'm sure you have heard this before, but your presentation was very inspirational. Because of people like you, I am able to have the family I have today.
Thank you again for your book, your service and your faith.
Semper Fi and God Bless,
Scott Doyle, Cristine and Payton
December 13, 2013
Captain Guy Gruters is a real American Hero. His experiences and trials touched and changed our lives. His faith in God, Family, Friends and the American dream is an inspiration. The A to Z Meats team was blessed to have Guy for our Christmas party. We are truly thankful.
Ms. Jessica Strahm
How I Found God: in the Prison Camps of North Vietnam
For religious audiences, for Men's Conferences, Youth Conferences or Men's Leadership Conferences, for Christian Men's Conferences, for Catholic Men's Conferences, Guy is one of the Catholic Motivational Speakers for Catholic audiences or Christian Motivational Speakers for Christian audiences who gives witness of his conversion and the power of persistent, persevering prayer that gave the grace to overcome anger and hatred. This meant to forgive, pray for and love his torturers, which resulted in deep peace and joy during the last years in prison camp, despite apparently hopeless conditions tempting strongly to despair and suicide. He can also address the saving power of suffering, the necessity to embrace necessary suffering without complaint or "poor me" attitude, hope in hopeless circumstances, love of neighbor including enemies, family order, etc. He emphasizes the power of prayer, the necessity for perseverance in prayer and specifically credits the prayer of the POWs and of his family and friends and countrymen for saving his life and bringing him home. And after return, Guy credits this same serious, sincere and persistent prayer life for making possible success in the varied experiences and challenges of work and family life. Guy is among the Catholic Parish Motivational Speakers or Catholic Retreat Motivational Speakers addressing with personal experiences the themes of conversion, forgiveness, the saving power of the cross, and perseverance in disheartening conditions. Living in Ohio, Guy is able to cover the entire United States and has also given numerous talks overseas in Okinawa, England and Germany. Most talks have been in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and other Southern States, but as distant as Texas, Alabama and Florida.
Sent Apr 3, 2011
To: Guy Gruters
Subject: Enjoyed your talk
I attended the men's conference in Springfield, MA yesterday, and very much enjoyed your talk. I learned a lot from it. I have never come anywhere near experiencing the things you have. To this, I can only say thank you for the sacrifices you have made for our country. "Thank you" is wholly inadequate for what you went through in service to the American cause, but it is all I can say.
I learned a lot from your talk. I learned about an experience I could not have even imagined before you spoke. I learned that the power of forgiveness must be infinite. The angry reaction of seeing other Americans killed, and being tortured, and manipulated as you were would seem impossible to dismiss by human standards. The life changing experience you had from coming to forgive gives testimony to this power.
When you found that God was really still in charge, giving you the words to say, sustaining you each day, is so reassuring. If God can still be in charge in that prison camp, well, I guess he is the God of all.
Your experiences in your life after the war also brings me hope. There are so many things as an employee, husband, father, that overwhelm me. I realized as you spoke, that I really don't spend much solitary time praying and listening to the Lord. Certainly, this is a missing ingredient in my life. I am going to create more of this solitary time, and see what develops. From your talk, it sounds like the time frame to see changes, is really indefinite. It may be like so many things, the results slow in coming, more work is needed than ever thought at first. I think something good will happen.
Thanks again, Guy, for making my first men's conference a wonderful experience.
God Bless you, and your whole family,
J.M., Springfield, VT
Sent: June 1, 2012
Subject: Men's Retreat
I hosted a men's retreat and was fortunate to have Guy Gruters as our main motivational speaker. He gave five impassioned talks over three days. His talks had the power to move men into action. He witnessed how the Scriptures and the Saint's teachings personally saved his life in the POW camp, in the Corporate World, and with his wife and seven kids. We laughed and cried. I heartily endorse Guy Gruters for any speaking engagement.
Father Kenneth Hummel, St. Peter Parish, Huber Heights, Ohio
After a men's retreat:
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences on the men's retreat over memorial day weekend. Your experiences were humbling for all of us, and I think also helped us deepen our understanding of the suffering Christ underwent on the cross - and how he asks us to forgive others as well as to carry our burdens in life. Your talks on marriage as well as working the land was also enlightening, and I'm working on growing my first group of vegetables at home. I will hold your words with me for a lifetime, and it will also help me put into perspective any suffering I must endure relative to the suffering asked of others - as well as the suffering of Christ on the cross, and the forgiveness we are all called to give.
Thank you again,
Kyle Reini, Atlanta, GA
Teamwork, Leadership: when the going gets tough:
As a motivational speaker for business, corporate and military audiences, Guy is able to give first hand accounts of perseverance, optimism and hope in hopeless conditions and the outstanding combat leadership shown by his commanders in both normal combat and in the tough prison conditions, and how that same type of leadership applies to the difficulties of the business world and military life. This means courage, perseverance and integrity without compromise, with a great emphasis on effective communication throughout and between all components of the organization. Guy has had extensive small business experience as a CEO and then corporate experience as a Director and Vice President - MIS for billion dollar corporations. Guy is also a retired airline pilot. He is a highly effective leadership, keynote or conference motivational speaker on the reasons for excellence and perseverance and how having faith, integrity, and loyalty to one's family, friends, organization and country in any difficult situation results in immeasurable rewards. Guy emphasizes that based on the great leadership he witnessed, doing the right thing is always the leader's prime responsibility and always works out best for the organization, its members and those it serves, no matter what it looks like at the time the decision is made. He effectively makes the key point that outstanding leadership is above all the result of outstanding character, as evidenced by strong faith, hard work, honesty, fairness, courage and effective communication.
Col. R. C. L.
AFROTC Detachment 880
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, Virginia 24450
Mr. Guy Gruters
Dear Mr. Gruters
Finally, please find enclosed a compact disk containing a digital video of your presentation before Virginia Military Institute cadets on 18 November. Let me extend my apology for the much longer than expected time to produce this product. Our delay is due to both technological challenges and my non-availability. We hope you are as pleased with the recording as we are with your presentation.
My words will fail to do justice in expressing our appreciation for your presentation to the cadets. You fulfilled all I could ask for and much more. The lessons you imparted to both the cadets and cadre will resonate for years to come. Several of the cadets shared their sincere sentiments that your words on leadership were the 'most meaningful' and you delivered 'the best presentation' in their three/four years as a cadet. Rest assured that's very high praise coming from the cadets. The overwhelming positive reaction from the cadets exceeds any I've seen for any other speaker during my time at VMI. I along with the cadre are of the same mind as the cadets.
As cadre for the cadets, we are charged with an important duty to develop the character and leadership in our future Air Force Officers. Your presentation provided a substantial boost in furthering our efforts towards those ends. You can expect that we'll use the lessons you provided and the example you set for as long as we're here.
Clearly in all this, there was a larger hand in guiding you to the podium in Jackson Memorial Hall and before the cadets on 18 November. I pray that you can return to speak before the cadets sometime in the future. I honor your service to our country. If I can ever be of assistance, by all means please do not hesitate to let me know.
R.C.L., Colonel, USAF
To a civilian pilot club near Cleveland, Ohio, in January of 2013;
All the members of the Lake Erie Chapter of the 99s thank you for your stunning presentation at our Pilot of the Year/Charter Banquet this past weekend. To say we enjoyed it seems somehow irreverant, but it was unquestionably interesting, eye-opening and even shocking for most people present. Certainly, every pilot there mentally imagined flying along every mission you described so well. It was like listening to radio stories years ago.
Yesterday (a followup discussion with the organizers) was especially enjoyable company. I'm sure you could tell we were glued to all you told us. The list of your recommended readings went out by email this morning.
Although it will never be or can never be enough just to say it, THANK YOU for your service to our country and for our freedom.
It was wonderful to meet you. Good luck on your endeavors and may God bless you and your family.
Bernice, Carol, Nancy and Nancy
Guy is also a family motivational speaker who describes adjusting to the various trials of a difficult set of family circumstances in both military and civilian life, i.e., absences up to six years and more than twenty-five family moves with a large family. He shows how, by relying on God, similar and any difficulties can be successfully addressed every time with great peace and joy. Guy and Sandy have brought up seven children while going through the war and civilian life since.
Guy has also been a motivational speaker for numerous youth (more than 20,000), in audiences from elementary schools through colleges. He is one of the youth conference speakers, teen conference speakers, Catholic parish speakers, Catholic retreat speakers or Catholic homeschool speakers whose experiences hold the attention of the audience better than any other speaker in the experience of the organizers of such talks, according to them. The topics for each audience are chosen relevant for the age group or mixed age group. They allow them to witness a world unlike any they have ever experienced, yet with real lessons for life in the States. There has been no problem with any disruptive behavior whatsoever during Guy's talks. In addition, questions by members of the audiences after the talks have not ceased until the organizers had to stop them for time requirements, etc.
Referencing a talk to a High School Assembly, November 21, 2013;
Hi Captain Gruters,
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to present your story to the students and staff at Kings High School.
What a remarkable and inspirational story you have. The school was buzzing after your talk and had the students thinking about how your lessons of encouragement and perseverance can play into their lives. Not only did you get the students thinking, you showed them firsthand what true courage and leadership are. Your delivery was exceptional, directly relating to the students and capturing their attention from the start. We could have listened to you for hours.
I also appreciate the extra time you spent with the students, community members, and family. It shows that you are willing to take the extra step to facilitate your message, which is one that all people should hear.
I look forward to seeing you again next year. Thanks for your service to our country, it is a better place because of individuals like you.
Rob Robison, MBA, M.Ed
Warren County Career Center/Kings High School
God constitutes a family: It is said in a beautiful and profound way that our God in his most intimate mystery is not a hermit - rather he constitutes a family. For he has in himself fatherhod, sonship, and love, which are the essence of a family. This love in the divine family is the Holy Spirit. - Pope John Paul II.
The family has its beginning in the motherhood of the mother, and motherhood has its beginning in the conception of a human being, in the conception of a baby.
In conceiving a baby, the woman becomes a mother; she enters into the mystery of her own motherhood. In the dimensions of human relations, she makes a gift of this motherhood to her husband, and he attains the dignity of fatherhood as a result of her motherhood.
Such is the moral order of this fundamental, eternal, and immutable event in the history of man.
The family is the first and fundamental human community.
It is the environment of life and the environment of love. the life of every society, nation, and state depends on the family...
- Pope John Paul II.
Diocese of Arlington
North Glebe Road
March 19, 2010
Dear Captain Gruters,
On behalf of the Family Life Office at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, I wish to thank you for participating in our inaugural Men's Conference, Living Faithfully in Challenging Times.
Your story of faith and courage is one that resonated with conference attendees as was evidenced by the resounding praise your talk received throughout the evaluations.
Thank you for all you do to spread the Gospel message of life and hope. Please know that you and your family will be remembered in our prayers.
May the Lord bless you and your family abundantly!
Sincerely in Christ,
Guy has been a motivational speaker for men's conferences, a keynote motivational speaker and youth conference motivational speaker for numerous Catholic, Christian, Family, Corporate, Teen, Youth and Military audiences. His uniquely wide real-world experiences make him a truly versatile motivational speaker and one of the Catholic speakers, Christian speakers, Military speakers, Family speakers, Catholic Parish speakers, Catholic Retreat speakers, Catholic teen speakers or Catholic youth speakers who can address a wide range of events.
Center for Neurological Development
This note is long in coming but filled with sincerity. I so much appreciate all your good works in attending our Handicapped Retreat this year. You are such a wonderful reflection of Jesus' life. The woman whose son is in Iraq remembered you during the Thanksgiving petitions the next day at Sunday Mass. She said her time talking with you really helped her. Thank you too for bringing Father L. That meant a lot to me personally as I have wanted him to meet this group. God Bless all.
Very Truly Yours,
The following "Thank you" was received after a talk on Leadership at the Leadership Summit in Jacksonville, Florida, to the Headquarters personnel of the Florida ANG and key personnel of the 125th Fighter Wing (F-15s).
February 12, 2012
I wanted to send you a short note to let you know how much I enjoyed your visit with the officers of the 125th FW FLANG yesterday. I consider it a true honor to have gotten the opportunity to listen to you speak of your time in our nation's service. Your words spoke directly to my heart and all I could say to you yesterday when I had the honor of shaking your hand was "Thank you." I wish I could have said more to you, but if I had tried, I know I would have gotten extremely emotionally upset. I wish to say to you now with still tears in my eyes, Thank you so much for your service, your sacrifice, and your willingness to share with others things that we cannot even begin to imagine. You, Sir, are what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world. Without men and women like yourself, this country could never endure. Please continue to tell all that will listen of your life so that others may understand what it means to be a true patriot...a true American. May God bless you and your family always.
LtCol, 125th Fighter Wing
The following was received from this website;
Dear Mr. Gruters,
I was only in third grade when you when your POW ordeal ended, yet your story has had a profound impact on me. I have watched all of your videos on YouTube and words fail to express my respect and admiration for you, your experiences and insights into life. I'm sad you had to endure what you did, but your story some forty-plus years later is making a positive difference in the lives of countless people, myself included. You're living proof that there is a God, and my faith grows because of your story. Thank you for your service ... and for so much more as a human testament to that which is divine.
Guy's outstanding combat record, his POW years and experiences since then, contribute to him being one of the best motivational speakers for your Corporate, Catholic, Christian, Family or Military organization's next event.
As well as being a polished motivational speaker with numerous engagements as a small business, corporate, military, family, Catholic and Christian speaker to his credit, Guy will also bring a unique perspective to your next event. Please consider the About page and the Speaker page of this website to decide if you agree. Returning from six years in Vietnam, Guy spent many years as a small business CEO and high-level corporate executive officer, while raising a large family. The combination of extensive combat experience and being a POW returning with honor from extreme difficulties, along with powerful experiences in the small business, corporate and family real world, allows Guy to be a tailored speaker for your special requirements. If engaged, Guy shall be an ideal keynote and/or motivational, inspirational speaker for your event.