HomeMediaArticle Display

Airmen discover Sijan courage, dedication

Truax Field, Wis. --

Flames engulfed his aircraft. He was able to eject, but the violence of that ejection seat ripped off his helmet and his first aid kit. He went down into the jungle below. Limestone pillars jetted out of the triple canopy forest, making it impossible for a rescue.

Capt. Lance P. Sijan, Air Force F-4 Phantom pilot, spent the final days of his life dragging himself through the rough terrain of Laos. He survived the beatings and interrogations of his captors, never allowing his lips to spill any information he had sworn to secrecy. He fought for freedom until the day he took his last breath.

Sijan’s sister, Janine Sijan-Rozina, visited the 115th Fighter Wing on May 5 to share her brother’s story and provide inspiration for those in attendance.

“Janine has dedicated her life to ensuring that the memory of Lance and his incredible story is never forgotten,” said Joe Hollman, Wisconsin Air Force Academy Parents Association President. “She’s here today to share her story and Lance’s legacy with all of us.”

Sijan-Rozina shared the love she had for her brother and the love he had for his family and country.

“I have become very aware of the magnitude of this story,” Sijan-Rozina said. “It has become more than the loss for our family. It has become more than what Lance endured. What it is, is really a message to humanity about what happens when you make the impossible possible.”

Sijan-Rozina spent her time at the 115FW explaining the courageousness and dedication her brother had throughout his life. Sijan’s determination started young. When he was not accepted into the Air Force Academy right away, he headed to the Naval Academy Preparatory School to complete that program first, so he could later secure his acceptance into the Air Force Academy. When his grades were not what they needed to be, he quit playing football, his favorite sport, to focus on his studies. When his 220-pound body was battered, bruised, ripped apart and transformed into an 80-pound body, he continued to push forward.

“Now, if we end Lance’s story on Jan. 22, 1968 it’s tragic indeed, but if we don’t, if we understand the value of our lives in concentric circles and the ripples that we leave for others 50 years later, we can each light the path in our own way,” Rozina said.

She ensured those in attendance were aware they too have that same courageous spirit and dedication.

“Can you find the Lance Sijan inside of you,” Rozina said. “I believe you can. Now it’s up to you to believe it too.”

Rozina concluded her presentation looking straight into the eyes of those in attendance.

“Heroes are not born,” she said. “They are made through decisions throughout their lives in small, medium and large, to stay on the right side of right.”



USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Department of the Air Force does not exercise any responsibility or oversight of the content at external link destination.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of linked web sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided consistent with the mission of this web site.