American P.O.W. - 'Service with Honor'

Undisclosed Middle East -   Lieutenant Ed Mechenbier, had done everything he could to save his aircraft and the lives in it, but on the third “we’re not going to make it...” call from his backseat weapons officer, he made the decision to eject.

 There was no need to say it again...they were going in! 

Less then two seconds after his parachute deployed, the fighter pilot watched as his F4 Phantom slammed into the soil of north Vietnam. 

Mentors and Troops deployed in Southwest Asia are reunited once again as American300 partners with DoD Armed Forces Entertainment to present: ‘Service with Honor'... the story of Major General Edward Mechenbier, USAF retired. 

“There is very little that hasn't already been said to a service member who is on their 'um-teenth' deployment... they've seen and heard it all," says Army Veteran Robi Powers, founder of the nonprofit American300, adding, "but put a guy who went through six years of hell as a prisoner of war, who then came home to eventually become a two star General and troops ears and eyes perk up... the message is worthy and relevant." 

Aside from the opportunity for service members to get to personally know the retired General, they'll also be provided the opportunity to ask the biggest question of all: 'how'd you manage to get through all those years of torture and incarceration in north Vietnam'. 

After years of mentoring on bases throughout the United Sates with American300, this will be General Mechenbier's first trip overseas with the nonprofit.  The nonprofit believes in growth through a strategic nurturing approach.  “Not everyone is going to relate to every guest mentor we introduce to a unit,” says retired Army Ranger and purple heart recipient Jessie Stewart, who sits on the non-profit's advisory board, adding,  “When I was on my last deployment I didn’t want to be around folks who couldn’t relate, who hadn’t been there, I can relate completely to how our programming is received by Service Members... I was one of them, I met Robi and American300 the first time in the middle east and the effect was overwhelmingly positive."

Focused on sharing real world resiliency stories time and time again with the hopes that eventually every service member meets someone who ‘registers’ and can be 'related to' is one of the primary missions of American300.  The other is to give Service Members an opportunity to spend quality time with the various guest mentors.  “We work with leadership that allow our guests to slow down and develop relationships with our warriors,” says Powers.  

American300 is an all volunteer nonprofit which enlists the assistance of resiliency experts to help today’s military members be the best that they can be in service, relationships and friendships.  To date the nonprofit has visited over 500 bases worldwide in support of a comprehensive approach by the Department of Defense to offer up unique ways of approaching service life.  Previous visits to the middle east have featured world champion athletes, Olympic champions, wounded warriors and astronauts to name a few.   

For more on American300 visit: 

About Armed Forces Entertainment

Armed Forces Entertainment is the official Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, with priority given to those in contingency operations and at remote and isolated locations. The Department of the Air Force is the executive agent of Armed Forces Entertainment. Founded in 1951, Armed Forces Entertainment brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops annually, embracing the best of Americana that stretches across all genres of entertainment. For more information visit ,  Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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