"We heard that there was a country in trouble and
they asked for volunteers and I volunteered."
As a troubled teenager, 16-year-old Jose Mares was given the choice of joining
the Army or going to jail. He chose the Army, but when he volunteered for duty
in Korea, he wound up a prisoner, held captive in North Korea for nearly three
years. As a POW, Mares continued to defy authority; he helped organize an escape
committee and was sentenced to thirty years’ hard labor for his activities.
He managed to smuggle out details of his circumstances in the hollow artificial
leg of a released prisoner, and Mares eventually gained his freedom.