TODAY

TODAY   |  November 11, 2013

Woman meets POW she prayed for 40 years earlier

Jane Ellis was just a 16-year old cheerleader when she bought a bracelet printed with the name of a POW soldier. She prayed every night for him, and 42 years later, she serendipitously got a chance to meet the veteran at a baseball game.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> veterans day is all about honoring our heroes and this remarkable story takes you from the battlefield to the baseball field .

>> it's a story from the best selling author of the popular god wink series. it can be a life changing experience or an unexpected experience.

>> in the 1970 as student group created prisoner of war bracelets to honor soldiers during the vietnam war . many wore those brace let's.

>> but she had no idea how much that would mean 42 years later.

>> it was 1971 . i was a 16-year-old cheerleader in mount pleasant , texas. i heard that prisoners of war in vietnam were being tortured. thousands of miles from home. i wanted to help. i jumped at the chance to buy $2.50 bracelet with the name of one of those p.o.w.s, colonel leo thorsne. he became a family to me. i wore that bracelet and prayed for him every day. after two years we saw on tv he was released. i thanked god and put away the bracelet. fast forward 40 years. my husband john and i were invited to an astros game. i didn't want to go. i was tired and wanted to stay home but i'm glad i went. i was sitting there when all of a sudden didn't i heard over the intercom invited to throw out the first pitch was none other lieutenant thornse. that's my p.o.w. three weeks later and no luck finding him but then a young astros rep came through the ails and i told my story. she escorted me to the owner's box. moments later bounding up the steps was the colonel. you had my p.o.w. bracelet he asked. i told him yes, sir i prayed four every night and started crying and all i could whisper you were my hero and he looked back at me, no, you were my hero. that was my best god wink ever.

>> that may be the best god wink i've heard. colonel is now 81 years old. a grand dad. married for 60 years and believes life is good because freedom totally surrounds him.