It was june of 1995. Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady was flying a peace keeping mission over the skies of Bosnia when his F-16 jet was hit by an anti-aircraft missile.
For six days O'Grady survived on what little food he could find and only a small amount of water he carried with him. The search for the lost pilot and his dramatic rescue dominated news across the country. Sunday, thousands of East Texans were able to hear the amazing story from the man himself.
Back in 1995 O'Grady was welcomed back to america, as a hero. The fighter pilot had just survived six brutal days evading captures in an unstable country. While speaking to a crowd at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, the reception was much the same.
"I talk about the whole adventure story and it's there to entertain people but that's just my platform to be able to talk to them about what's really important."
That message revolves around O'Grady's faith in god and love of family and country. It's been more than three years since the former pilot last served in the military, yet those strong beliefs still show through.
"I think it's important at all times for us to realize that our freedom has never been for free it's been paid for alot of times by people that made the ultimate sacrifice."
O'Grady's message carries with it a truly patriotic tone. It's one he hopes doesn't fall on deaf ears.
"We have to look at our president I think he is very right in taking the stance that he has taken to protect us against terrorism to protect us against an evil threat in the Middle East.
"We cannot turn a blinds eye to evil anymore because turning our eye away from evil doesn't make it go away it's still there."
By continuing to tell his story, O'Grady hopes he's living proof of that importance.
Scott O'Grady's story has since inspired a best selling book and movie. O'grady and his family live in Dallas where he's also in seminary. He continues to speak to groups across the country.