Today marks exactly 37 years since Hanoi released its first American POWs. Everett Alvarez, the longest-held prisoner, was one of the first to be freed that day. “I was somewhat cynical,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘I’ll believe it when I’m on the bus and then on a plane.’” Alvarez sat next to Bob Schumaker, the second longest-held POW. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Congratulations. We made it.’” Today, Alvarez says, he will reflect on Feb. 12, 1973. But he adds: “I keep too busy to stop and think too much about it. I’m 72 and starting a new consulting business. I’m just fortunate to be here, and I want to be doing things.” Of the 725 POWs held in Vietnam, 660 survived, according to Open Doors: Vietnam POWs 30 Years Later, a new book of photos and personal stories. The best-known survivor is probably Sen. John McCain, who was released on March 14, 1973. The last to be released—on April 1—was Robert White. He’d been in solitary confinement for more than three years. To learn about the lives of the former POWs today and to see a photo exhibit, visit opendoorsbook.com on the Web.