Our series, Remembering Our Veterans, continues with the story of Porter Halyburton. 

Earlier this month, Erie News Now traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina, to meet with Halyburton. He spent seven and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Porter Halyburton, now 83 years old, survived captivity as a prisoner of war from 1965 until 1973. For over a year and a half, his family was told he was killed in action.

"So, my mother had a gravestone prepared and put it on the family plot," said Halyburton. "When I came back from Vietnam, both my grandparents and mother had died, and that's who I grow up with so the only family I had was my wife and oldest daughter. I came to Davidson (North Carolina) and they had a big parade, and this guy came up to me and said he had something of mine, and I said what is it, and he said your tombstone." 

He became a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, and he fought in the Vietnam War as a naval aviator. He was shot down and captured on October 17, 1965.

"My best friend growing up in Davidson was killed right after I was, I had a note from him and his wife that they wrote to my wife after they found out I was dead, and he was killed shortly after that, so putting my hand on his name on the wall, and the pilot I was with is on that wall too," said Halyburton. 

Thoughts of the men and women he served with are daily.

"It was sad to see people who had given so much were not welcomed home and were not recognized," said Halyburton. 

The USS Halyburton is named after Porter's first cousin, William D. Halyburton, a former Marine killed in action in 1945 during World War II.

Porter Halyburton was awarded a Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, and three Purple Hearts.

Porter Halyburton, living legend, thank you for your service.