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Prison Break - My Tale of Finding a Hero

Updated on June 16, 2012

What is a Hero?

What makes a person a hero? Should that person work one of those jobs we often see as heroic, such as a policeman or a firefighter? Should that person be one of the 9/11 responders that helped rescue people or clear rubble? Or should that person be of upstanding character traits that motivate others to be better people and to improve their lives? And how many of the aforementioned categories should a person fit into in order to be considered a real hero?

American View
American View | Source

Lucky for me I don’t have to decide between any of those factors when I talk about one of my heroes. He was a firefighter, he worked at Ground Zero on 9/11, and he encourages others to improve their lives leading by example. My friend is a fellow writer here at HubPages and he goes by the name American View. He writes mostly political Hubs but he does squeeze out the occasional poem. He also has his own radio show on Monday evenings and on Friday evenings (although he will be off-air for a bit due to a recent move.) Believe it or not he has done all his writing and radio shows from a hospital where he has been for the last 3 years after almost dying. The doctors told him he would never leave the hospital, they said they couldn’t fix him because they don’t know whats wrong with him. However, as we speak, my friend is making a run for the border, heading for the hills, turning over a new leaf.

He done made a prison break and he ain’t never goin’ back! I am so proud of my friend for determining the path his life will take no matter what the doctors told him. It's been a struggle but he has made it. And in a couple days he will be living on his own again in a new apartment. He is starting all over again but he is not afraid or worried. He speaks with confidence and conviction when he says “I’ll be okay.” Yes, I think he will indeed be just fine. I feel this because I have come to learn that this man doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit.

Request From my Friend

911 First Responders Need Your Help by American View

911 responders and all those involved there at ground zero are still getting sick and are not getting the health care they need. Please go to the link, in there is a letter you can cut and pate with an email address where you can send it. It is important to get the administration and NYC to add cancer as well as all the breathing disorders all those people suffer from to be recognized as having happened as a result of the 911 attacks. Thanks for doing so.

A Poem For My Friend

Tied up, locked up, bound to this miserable place

I hated that dark moment, my shocking fall from grace

Struggles and fights and neglect seen each day

But I had to do my time; I had no choice but to stay

This place made me grow sicker as I sat here alone

I wanted nothing more than to be away, back home.

They jeered and they poked and said ‘you’ll never leave’

I jeered and poked back and told them ‘just watch me’

I got stronger each day and I made a determined plan

To rid myself of these iron shackles to be a free man

While I was writing this Hub in honor of my friend I came across other famous prison breaks including both prisoners of war and criminals. For your reading pleasure :

10 Famous Prison Escapes

Auschwitz Escape

Alfred Wetzler was one of only a few people who were ever able to escape Auschwitz, Hitler’s largest concentration camp. By 1944 12,000 Jews a day were being executed within this secret prison. Two prisoners, Rudolph Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, were determined to expose the terrors of Germany’s most heavily-guarded secret and to stop the Nazi genocide and killing factories forever. In April, 1944 the two prisoners hid in a woodpile under guards’ noses and traveled for 3 days through rugged and dangerous enemy terrain. They solicited the help of strangers and covered 85 miles in 15 days to reach people they thought could help. Vrba and Wetzler compiled and delivered a report containing a ground plan of the camp, construction details of the gas chambers and crematoriums, and even a label from a canister of Zyklon gas. Vrba’s and Wetzler’s efforts have come to be known as the largest single rescue of Jews in WWII.

Maze Prison Watchtower
Maze Prison Watchtower | Source

The Maze Prison Escape

The Maze Prison Escape is the biggest prison escape in British history. The prison was considered one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe. Its 15-foot fences were surrounded by an 18-foot concrete wall that was topped with barbed wire. All gates to the prison were solid steel and electronically operated. However, at 2:30 pm on September 25th, 1983, 38 Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners were able to escape from H-Block 7 of the prison. The prisoners took control of the prison guards at gunpoint and held them hostage while some prisoners took the guards clothing and car key to help with the escape. One prison officer died of a heart attack and another 20 people were injured during the scuffle for control. At 3:25 pm a food truck arrived at the prison to make a delivery. The prisoners made the driver aid in their escape. Over the next several days 19 of the 38 escapees were caught. The rest are still unaccounted for or have made it to areas that prevented their forced return.

Libby Prison
Libby Prison | Source

The Libby Prison Escape

The Libby Prison Escape is touted as one of the most famous and successful prison breaks during the American Civil War. Between February 9th and February 10th, 1864, 109 Union soldiers broke out of their prisoner-of-war building in Richmond, Virginia via tunnel. The tunnel originated in the basement of the prison, known as “Rat Hell” for reasons I’m sure we all can guess. Because the basement was so infested with rats it was no longer used and the prisoners were able to dig undetected. The prisoners worked for 17 days, eventually breaking through to a 50-foot vacant lot on the side of the prison. The tunnel then resurfaced beneath a tobacco shed of a nearby warehouse. Of the 109 escaped prisoners only 48 were recaptured. 59 of the prisoners succeeded in reaching Union lines and 2 of the prisoners downed while crossing the James River.

Texas 7

The Texas 7

The Texas 7 was a group of prisoners who made their escape on December 13, 2000 from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas. The group took advantage of the slowest time of day when they knew there would be less surveillance of certain areas. They used several creative ploys to eventually overpower and restrain nine civilian maintenance workers, four correctional officers, and three uninvolved inmates. Most often one prisoner would call over and distract a victim while a different member of the 7 hit the victim in the head. Once subdued, each victim had clothing removed, got bound and gagged, and was then hidden in a locked electrical room. The Texas 7 were caught January 21-January 23, 2001 as a result of the TV show 'America’s Most Wanted'. Of the group, 5 living members are on death row awaiting death by legal injection, 1 member committed suicide and the last member has already been executed.

Stalag Luft III Prison
Stalag Luft III Prison | Source

The Stalag Luft III Prison Escape

The Stalag Luft III was a prisoner-of-war camp used by the German Air Force during World War II. In January 1943, Roger Bushell, an imprisoned air force member, devised a plan of escape that consisted of digging three deep (about 30 ft deep) tunnels. The construction of the tunnels was so in depth that each tunnel was rigged with a pump (to push fresh oxygen along ducting), electrical lighting, and a railcar system to transport sand from the tunnels. Of the three tunnels, codenamed “Tom”, “Dick”, and “Harry”, “Harry” was the first to be ready for use in March of 1944. The prisoners waited a week for a moonless night, and on March 24th the escape attempt began. However, the tunnel came up short of the tree line they were hoping to reach. Even with this shortcoming, 76 men were able to crawl through the tunnel to initial freedom. At 5 am March 25th, the 77th man was seen exiting the tunnel. Only 3 of the 77 were able to evade recapture. Fifty of the others were killed and the remaining men were sent back to prison.

Libby Prison


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    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Neverland

      AV, you goof. Why'd you delete your comment?! You better put it back.

      Jim, no reason to get all profane now...brat

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      He's a hell of a guy Ardie, and he feels the same way about you. Matter of fact ...

      limbo this :P


    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Neverland

      Thank you Androking :) I am still friends with the person I wrote about in this Hub. He's still a great guy and he's still my hero!

    • androking22 profile image


      5 years ago

      very nice story

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Well then - in that case: Thank you, tsmog!! =)

    • profile image

      tsmog 0n a different planet 

      6 years ago

      for being you . . .

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      You're welcome Tim, but why am I thanked?! =)

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Thank You Ardie!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Aaw would you look at that?! This Hub is in honor of the very person who is thanking everyone for supporting me and who is promoting my newest Hub. Good gravy American View - you are a humble man ;) And thats why I cant help but adore ya!

      Hello Cindy :) It is a true shame. Hopefully something will change soon and we can get help for my hero and others.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      So glad I read this one Ardie. it was a wonderful tribute, and I see that American View is doing well from the comment above. I am happy about that. i enjoyed reading about the different prison breaks as well.

      It is a shame that our government is not helping those who stepped forward to help.

    • American View profile image

      American View 

      6 years ago from Plano, Texas


      I have been out for a few weeks now and things are good. I want to thank everyone here for the kind words you expressed. But more important I want to thank you all for supporting Ardie. She is one hell of a good writer, she never disappoints with them and this article is just another example. If you have not seen her new one Go check it our quickly

      Thank you for this wonderful article my friend. It meant a lot. See you around

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Aaw thanks VicLynn :) You are just too sweet to me. I was totally amazed that AV did so much from the hospital too. He is quite the fighter in my opinion. I am glad he is out on his own and he even did a welcome back radio show on Monday and it was GREAT!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ardie, you are such a talented writer--funny, serious, in-depth, and real. I loved reading your story and American's View determination to survive and break free from that hospital. Amazing that he did so much from the hospital. I love your poem, too. Beautiful hub, my friend. I'm very impressed. Many votes.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Audrey :) Thanks for taking the time to read! AV is one cool guy in my opinion. He has lots of good articles and insights. I need to post a link to his radio show on here so others can listen to him. I think you all would really enjoy it!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Very cool write! I have read some of American View's work but not much and I didn't know that he was in ill health, best to you and to him---and thank you!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Tlmcgaa70 :) That’s so neat – and if you ever need any advice on how David would react to a situation you can just ask George! As for real George – maybe one day he will realize just what a great person he is. Not just for being around on 9/11 but also as a great personality and friend!!

      Hello CC :) Im glad you read it and liked it.

      Tsmog – I cannot believe that amount of encouragement here! I hope George sees it and realizes its all for him and NOT me. He is the star of this Hub :)

      Hi Tammy! Its understandable that you didn’t know about American View/George. Heck, we talked for quite some time before he even mentioned being a firefighter and 9/11 responder. And I am a bad friend and I didn’t read THOSE Hubs that mentioned it.

      ThePracMom – Thank you for enjoying this so much and for the votes! George seems to be doing better now that he’s out on his own. I hope he can make another appearance here soon to let everyone know how he is. I bet it will be soon :)

      Hello justateacher (your name is such an understatement – I don’t think any teacher could be JUST a teacher – the job you do shapes our future. Stand up and accept your hero status too.) I am so glad you read American View and like his Hubs. That will make him feel so good to read! Thank you for reading mine too :)

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Have read many of the things American View has written and appreciated most of them...I also had no clue that he was having health problems...and am glad that he is now well enough to go home. Thanks for SHARING!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Ardie, this is truly a beautiful and interesting hub/tribute! I didn't know American View was there on 9/11. Many, many thanks to him and what he has done! He may not think himself a hero, but he surely is. I wish him all the best with his medical condition.

      The stories of the prison breaks at the end were entertaining. Voted up, beautiful and interesting!

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow.. I didn't know that American View was such a hero and that 9/11 responders are being neglected. This is a great hub and very vital. Wishing the best to American View and thanks to Ardie for putting this into the spotlight!

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      The encouragement is overwhelming. Thank you for sharing Ardie and 'thank you' American View.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Well done, Ardie. Beautiful and moving. This is worth every word to read. Love this!

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image


      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      George sounds incredibly like my character, "David" from my story. David never believed he was a hero. he was uncomfortable when ever he was rewarded for his work. it took him awhile to realize that recognition for what he did, and the thanks that went with it, were as much for those giving the thanks as for him. when someone is extremely thankful, for life or property saved, they MUST find a way to express that gratitude. they must. it may not make it easier to accept such expressions, but it makes it easier to understand.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Melovy :) I did pack a lot in this Hub and I am so glad people are reading AV’s comment. I was wondering if I should work it into the meat of the Hub so it gets more attention. Thank you for reading!!

      Hello my Martie :)I will have to look into the movies about these escapes – I wasn’t aware of that since I was not really allowed to watch TV growing up – and then I still haven’t picked up the habit. Thanks for the votes!!

      Hello Daisy, thanks for reading this and leaving a comment for George – I wonder if he’s feeling alone right now without his Internet. Hopefully he’s partying it up with friends and family!!

      Hi Jim – I love that you read these to George :) You’re a good friend!!

      Thanks Rolly, I agree that he belongs in the spotlight even if he isn’t necessarily comfortable there. He will get used to it!!

      Maria, I went and listened to that song today just because you mentioned it here – lovely and perfect! Thanks for your sweet words! But I wouldn’t expect anything else from such a sweet lady :)

      Hi Marcy!! AV is a real talent huh? He can write politics and then turn around and write a poem or a story about his childhood or a ball player. You gotta love him. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I truly appreciate seeing you here.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello Kalmiya! It’s great to see you here :) This started out as a tribute Hub and then I got the idea of jail break in my head and I just went from there.

      Sweet Ruchira :) I will always be on your side! Thanks for reading, voting, and sharing.

      Sunshine, thanks for reading and supporting AV :) He is one sweet fella huh? He’s a good friend to have and maybe one day he will accept his rocking-ness.

      PCC – you remember that?! I was wondering if there would be a few breaks that people would remember, like the Texas 7 and the H Block from Maze. I really enjoyed the research for this Hub :)

      Aaw zzron :D you’re so sweet. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Tlmcgaa70, I would love to see your television show come about. I don’t think the rescue workers and volunteers have been treated properly since 9/11 either. Where are the dignity, appreciation and respect?! Thanks for the read, votes, and shares. I am so overwhelmed with the results for AV :)

      Hi RHW – another of my good friends! Im glad you enjoyed the breaks heheh I was wondering if I would be the only one to get my off humor about AV busting outta the joint. And then guess what? I got so wrapped up in the prison escapes and the history that I was wondering about my own sanity for a bit – being all obsessed about it!!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello Kelley and thanks for reading so fast! It was easy to get to know American View – he’s a great guy and the best type of friend you could ask for :) Thanks for the votes and shares. I’d love to see AV get the attention he deserves.

      AV! I miss you so much already and I can’t wait for you to get back. I saw the weird guy who doesn’t wear pants said he was talking to you so hopefully he will pass this message along. Your fans will wait here for you :) I hope the new neighbors are totally cool. (PS – I will send the letter for the link above every week and you ARE my hero – you can’t take that away from me.)

      Hi Jim :) I appreciate the follow. Together, maybe you and I can make AV realize how special he really is! I am going to read your Hub as soon as Im done here.

      Hello dear Thomas :) thanks and thanks! I had an original idea for this Hub but somehow I took a sharp left and ended up doing prison breaks heheh Ah, well…my mind? Yah, its odd

      Hi Gypsy Rose Lee, thank you for the votes and thanks for passing this on – I don’t know why I went with the prison breaks…they were interesting to me. Maybe another Hub one day?

      Thanks Bill! Im glad you and I have become friends :) and I hope many, many, many people read this. I will keep sharing it until my friend comes back to HP and FB.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      6 years ago from Planet Earth

      How inspiring! I've read many of American View's hubs, and I had no idea he was struggling with his health. I'm pulling for you, my friend - you are my hero!

      What a dear friend you are, Ardie, to give your support and share this success.

      Welcome to the real world, American View!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Wow!! I am beyond touched at all the love for my friend :) He deserves it so much - even though he will never admit to the fact. I can't wait for him to get back online writing Hubs and doing radio shows. I will make personal comments to each of you in a bit. Right now I'm off to the post office to send our pal a letter!!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      On behalf of you and the HERO who feels he is not, I am moved to tears at this touching tribute. You are indeed an amazingly beautiful woman and a fabulous friend to George and all of us.

      Today is my Sting day for 30/30 and his song 'Fragile' says more than I can at this time. Voted UP & UABI.

      Hugs to you both, Maria

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Well done Ardie... hats off to you for doing this and brining this writer into the light where he belongs...

      Hugs from Canada

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      I just got off the phone with George. He said to give a big hey to all. I read the latest responces and the big dude was honestly touched. Keep em coming guys. He needs it!


    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 

      6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      Thanks for publishing this tribute to your friend, American friend, George.

      This is a beautiful article, one that you should be very proud of.



      Even though you are a Mets fan, I wish you all the very best that Life has to offer.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Wow, what a terrific hub. So interesting! Many movies are based on these famous escapes.

      I agree, Ardie, American View is certainly a hero. I wish him the best of luck.

      Voted up, awesome, informative and very interesting. :)

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      There’s such a lot in here Ardie! First I didn’t know about the long-term health problems of American View and others after 9/11, and after reading your hub and his comment my ignorance has gone. I hope the firefighters get the support they deserve.

      And the prison breaks were very interesting to read about.

      Thanks for the hub.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Up and awesome Ardie! I think adding the prison break news was brilliant! Funny! Lol. I must seek this man out and read some of his work! He sounds so interesting! Thank you for the entertaining hub! You rock!

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image


      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      American View...a true hero never believes he IS one. i have SO much respect and admiration for all fire fighters. and i cant tell you how my heart breaks for what you guys went through on 9/11 and how i am ashamed at the way you have been treated since. my prayers are with you as you fight your own personal battle. it will probably never come to fruition, but i am trying to create a tv show, designed to give recognition and thanks to all fire fighters for the work they do, the risks they take...largely going un noticed and un thanked. never forget that you ARE a hero to so many.

      Ardie thank you for introducing me to American View, and thank you for being his friend. you did an incredible job with this hub. voted up and across except for funny, and shared with my followers and facebook friends. GOD bless you both.

    • zzron profile image


      6 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Ardie you are a hero to many, awesome hub and wonderful poem.

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      Ardie, wow what a fine piece you have written here. I remember the H Block break out from The Maze Prison.

      Good luck to American View. He is lucky to have you in his corner.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      George, You are a hero and no matter how many times you deny that fact we will be here to keep reminding you. You always go above and beyond for your friends. You never let them down. Simply put "you rock" so just accept it! Looking forward to your return.

      Well done Ardie for bringing American View into the spotlight! He's one classy guy! It's time for some country music tunes and I'm going to listen to them in his honor.

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Wow Ardie...your work speaks of loyalty and how amazing you are.

      I am lucky to have you around :)


      voted up and sharing!

    • Kalmiya profile image


      6 years ago from North America

      Such an unusual topic Ardie! What I learn from this is to observe the various strategies all these prisoners used to escape their prisons. I have hope yet! Thanks for your article.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ardie, you are as loyal a friend as I know on HubPages and I am humbled by your friendship. This is a wonderful hub and deserves to be read by thousands.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Wow Ardie voted up and awesome. Congrats to your friend for getting his life back. This is one interesting and powerful hub. Get the shivers reading about those prison escapes. Passing this on.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image


      6 years ago from Reno, Nevada


      You are amazing my friend! Shout out to George for his impending move...and to you (Ardie) for a rocking poem and kick ass list of prison break out!


    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      6 years ago from Tucson, Az.


      Any friend of George;s is a friend of mine. You showed a lot of class here and I'm huntin down your follow button. Here's a link to one I wrote a long time ago. Great minds think alike. Up awesome and beautiful my friend!


    • American View profile image

      American View 

      6 years ago from Plano, Texas

      Let me say that the 911 responders and all those involved there at ground zero are still getting sick and are not getting the health care they need. Please go to the link, in there is a letter you can cut and pate with an email address where you can send it. It is important to get the administration and NYC to add cancer as well as all the breathing disorders all those people suffer from to be recognized as having happened as a result of the 911 attacks. Thanks for doing so.


      You have written a great article here, but I am no hero. I do have to say the radio show was hard to do in the beginning when I still had the trach in my throat. But it is long gone now and as of tomorrow I will be long gone from this place. Thank you my friend for the kind words. Up and awesome

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow Ardie! You amaze me with your versatility and ability to really get to know others! Thanks for introducing me to American View and this other useful information. Voted up and shared!


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