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The Truth About The Reunion Of Lt. Colonial Robert Stirm And His Family


Lt. Colonial Robert Stirm cheerfully reunites with his family after being held a prisoner or war. The photograph, taken by Slava Veder and titled Burst of Joy, won a Pulitzer Prize for showing raw human emotion. The photo was taken on March 17, 1973 and became a symbol of the United States pulling out of the Vietnam war. Stirm spent more than five years in captivity. While he was happy to get out, he was disappointed to what he found when he did get out.

He had received a letter from his wife, Loretta, letting him know their marriage was over. Nonetheless, he was happy to see his children who had grown phenomenally. Loretta, his ex-wife has admitted that she feels bad about the whole situation every time she looks at the photograph – knowing the reunion wasn’t as happy as it appeared to the rest of the world.