Winter Park’s U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who was born in Vietnam and escaped with her family in a boat lift when she was six months old, returned to Vietnam Wednesday and joined U.S. Sen. John McCain and other members of Congress for a tour of the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” Vietnam War prison.

Murphy, a freshman Democrat, posted a picture Wednesday of herself with McCain outside the Hoa Lo Prison, now a historical shrine in Hanoi, with a caption that read:

“With Arizona Senator John McCain in Vietnam outside the prison in which he was held for more than five years as a POW. He is truly an American hero for his service to this country in times of both peace and war.”

Murphy, McCain and other members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House armed services committees are in Vietnam as part of a congressional tour of undisclosed sites in Asia.

Murphy’s office said the members toured the prison at the invitation of McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona. He spent five and a half years imprisoned there during the Vietnam War, when he was a Navy lieutenant commander and was shot down during a bombing mission.

The four-nation trip is focused on strengthening the United States’ Indo-Asia-Pacific alliances and partnerships. This is a bipartisan congressional delegation led by Armed Services Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Republican from Texas.



About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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