There is no doubt that the Yard at the U.S. Naval Academy is saturated with history. With over 175 years of women and men dedicating their lives to selfless service, there is certainly a lot to see and learn about on this historical campus. One of the best ways to see the most interesting sights and learn important facts is through a challenging scavenger hunt!
Returned with Honor is hosting a limited time interactive experience from February to August 2023 that allows visitors on the Yard to learn more about prisoners of war (POWs) during the Vietnam War, and the impact of the military’s Code of Conduct. This experience, the POW Challenge, will allow visitors to use their smartphones to scan icon targets around the Yard and access digital media telling the story of the POWs and the relation to the significant item about that location.
Those who participate and complete the POW Challenge (at least 8 out of 19 engagements) will be able to earn 20% off one item at the USNA Gift Shop.
Play Along with the Midshipmen
One of the best parts is, visitors won’t be playing alone! The public will be participating in the POW Challenge alongside the Brigade of Midshipmen at the USNA. Midshipmen will be completing the POW Challenger to earn discounts at their favorite NABSD locations as well.
The History of POW/MIA
During the Vietnam War, hundreds of U.S. airmen were imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured for information inside the Hỏa Lò Prison. However, the Americans resisted and adhered to the U.S. military’s Code of Conduct, refusing to render any information to the enemy.
Meanwhile, loved ones of those Americans across the seas were given no information about their fate. The government was unable to tell them where they were or if they were coming home. Because of this, the National League of POW/MIA Families was established, bringing worldwide attention to North Vietnam’s disregard of the Geneva Convention.
591 American POWs held by North Vietnam were returned home following the Paris Peace Accords and the end of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Operation Homecoming began on February 12, 1973, when the first flight of 40 U.S. prisoners’ of war left Hanoi in a C-141A, known as the “Hanoi Taxi.”
Returned with Honor’s POW Challenge commemorates the 50th anniversary of that first flight, when families were reunited. This event recognizes the courage, honor and sacrifice of those U.S. airmen and their families.
Complete the POW Challenge on a USNA Tour
Returned with Honor’s POW Challenge begins on February 12th and runs until August 2023. Make sure to complete the challenge and redeem your USNA Gift Shop discount. Coupons will be good for only 24 hours, so make sure you stop in at the Gift Shop before you leave the Yard! When you visit the Yard and take a tour, you’re supporting the women and men of the Brigade. Every USNA tour, dining experience and shopping trip on the Yard gives 100 percent to the Brigade of Midshipmen.