KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A World War II prisoner of war was honored at the K on the eve of Independence Day.
“You try to think back when you weren’t free, that shows you how lucky you are to still be living and free," Ret. Chief Master Sgt. Charles Sibert said.
When you ask the 95-year-old veteran about independence, he'll tell you about a girl named Lucy.
Sibert, now living in Belton, met Lucy in Centerview, Missouri, in 1942.
"I already had agreed to be a tailgater on a B-17, and I said I don’t think we ought to get married now, and she thought the same thing," Sibert said.
Sibert was flying a bombing mission over Schweinberg, Germany in a B-17 when they lost the third engine and the right wing was on fire.
“I hit the ground and there were German soldiers all around. Luckily they were soldiers so they didn’t try to kill you on the spot," Sibert said.
He’d spend 20 months in a prison camp, marching 180 miles to Austria. He was 115 pounds when he was finally freed and returned home to find Lucy, who had moved to California with her family.
“We got married in 1945 right after I got out prison," Sibert said.
They were married 74 years before Lucy passed away this year.
On Wednesday, at the Royals' Armed Forces Night, his daughters were there to watch Sibert raise the P.O.W. flag over Kauffman Stadium for all the crowd to see.
“If it wasn’t for the veterans, we wouldn’t be the country that we are today," Staff Sgt. Stephen Levins said.