Former Iranian hostage from Mosinee heads to West Point for reunion
by Brittany Earl
WAUSAU(WAOW)--A former Iranian Hostage who lives in Mosinee, returns to West Point on the 30th anniversary of his release from captivity.
Marine Sergeant Kevin Hermening is looking forward to a reunion at West Point New York. The last time he stood on the base was 30 years ago.
Hermening says, "The cadets welcomed us back in 1981 and they'll welcome us back again at least were expecting they will but of course it's a different group of young people."
Hermening was the youngest of 52 Americans held in captivity for 444 days by the Iranian Islamic Militants. This weekend Hermening will reunite with hostages and families at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.
Hermening says, "A large number of us, about 15 of us were in Washington D.C. at Arlington last year at the Arlington cemetery. It was the 30th anniversary of the failed rescue attempt during which in my estimation the real heroes in our situation perished in operation Eagle Claw."
The 52 hostages were released January 20th 1981, the day President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
"After we got out of captivity back in 1981 many of the folks were still in the service, I was still in the Marine Corps. But people had gradually gone their own way and built their own lives and as I think I have tried to do," said Hermening.
Currently the Oak Creek native is the head of a financial firm in Wausau with a wife and two daughters. Hermening says he enjoys giving speeches about his 14 months as an Iran hostage. This weekend his message will be heard by cadets.
"We're going be having an opportunity to go back and talk to the students, the cadets about the situation we found ourselves in and the challenges their going to face in leadership in the military in a very dangerous world. Cause the world in no less dangerous today than it was back then," said Hermening
But Hermening says it's about giving back.
"I'm going to talk as I often do about liberty and leadership because to me that's what it's really about. It's all about and not forgetting about the men who died and reminding people that the folks that served in Vietnam never had the welcome home that we did yet it was well deserved.