United States Air Force Capt. Scott O'Grady became a national hero in June 1995 when he was shot down over Bosnia. Captain O'Grady was patrolling a NATO no-fly zone when his F-16 was hit by a surface-to-air missile. He ejected from the jet and then hid for six days in hostile territory, eating ants and drinking water squeezed from his rain-soaked socks until he was dramatically rescued by Marine Corps helicopters.
O'Grady's ordeal captured the imagination of Americans, and he was an instant celebrity. He published a book about his experience, "Return With Honor" (1995), and later a children's book, "Basher Five-Two"(1997).
Now a reservist, O'Grady is an instructor at a Department of Defense survival school in Spokane, Wash., and gives motivational speeches to groups across the country on topics ranging from heroism to faith.
O'Grady has told his tale hundreds of times, but has repeatedly said he does not consider himself a hero. "... [W]e need to look for [heroes] here in our day-to-day society, and that's just people out there helping other people," he said in a recent interview with USA Today.
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