SIKESTON - You might think a presentation sponsored by Edward Jones would be financial in nature. It's not.
The motivational presentation is about the boundless power of human potential; the power of a positive, focused state of mind; overcoming adversity and reaching beyond your goals.
A published author on the subject, Retired Air Force Col. Edward L. Hubbard, will share his inspiring, patriotic message from 1 to 2:45 p.m. Friday at the Sikeston Public Library's McAmis Community Room, 221 N. Kingshighway.
Hubbard will speak on lessons about survival, human potential and the American spirit learned during his six and a half years as a POW in North Vietnam from 1966 to 1973.
"The people who have been recently captured in Iraq probably have their hands full right now," Hubbard said. "The first few days of capture are rather mind numbing."
As a pilot, Hubbard had the benefit of going through survival and evasion school. "It helps you kind of think ahead of how you might deal with the situation," he said. "These folks may not have that advantage."
However, he recalled a Navy seaman who was captured during the Vietnam war who did well even without the extra preparation.
"Americans are creative and tenacious people," Hubbard said. He predicted the prisoners would "come out better than they were before" due to the growth they would experience.
Since 1985, Hubbard has shared the lessons he learned as well as how to apply them to overcome any obstacle and push the envelope of personal potential.
Hubbard joined the Air Force Reserve at age 17, entering active duty in 1962. After a 28-year career in the military, Hubbard wears more than 60 commendations and service medals on his uniform including the Silver Star for combat service, the Legion of Merit for sustained exemplary service, the Distinguished Flying Cross for exemplary aerial combat, the Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart for being wounded by an enemy force in combat.
While pursuing his military career following his release from North Vietnam in 1973, Hubbard also earned five college degrees in seven years including a master's degree in personnel management from Troy State University in 1980.
He is also an accomplished artist and has authored the book, "Escape from the Box: The Wonder of Human Potential," first published in 1994.
Yet despite all his success, he considers his greatest accomplishment to be sharing his lessons of survival with others.
"The message I want to bring people is: there's a way to solve your problems. Get up each day and do something better than you did it yesterday," Hubbard said. In doing so, you will gain the confidence to enable you to do an even better job next time, he explained.
"It's so simple we aren't clever enough to try it," Hubbard said, recommending anyone who has had a bad day in the last month to come to Friday's program. "I've not had one bad day for more than 36 years."
Hubbard's visit is hosted by Edward Jones investment representative Justin Martini of Sikeston as part of the financial-services firm's ongoing commitment to serving communities it has offices in.
Martini said seating is limited. For reservations or more information contact Martini's office in Sikeston at 471-6183.