WATCH MEMORIAL DAY SPOTLIGHT: Former Iranian Hostage Rocky Sickmann Tells All in Interview With Steve Wilson

By  //  May 27, 2023


WATCH: Former Hostage Tells All! U.S. Marine Rocky Sickmann was one of 52 hostages held captive in Iran for 444 days, from November 4, 1979 – January 20, 1981. Rocky sits down with the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson to talk about his time in captivity, his involvement with the non-profit, Folds of Honor, and much more in this exclusive interview.

In 1979, just 15 days into his tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann became a player in one of the most terrifying events in U.S. history. On November 4, 1979, after months of turmoil marked by the return of the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun by militants and its employees taken captive. Sergeant Rocky Sickmann, then just 21, was one of 65 Americans taken hostage. Sickmann remained a hostage for 444 days before being released on Jan. 21, 1981.

(HISTORYNET.COM) – Born in 1957 in suburban St. Louis, Mo., Rodney V. “Rocky” Sickmann enlisted in the Marines in 1975 in the wake of the Vietnam War.

He spent a few years in the infantry before joining the Marine Corps Security Guard Battalion (present-day Marine Corps Embassy Security Group), which watches over U.S. Embassies worldwide.

In October 1979, Sergeant Sickmann was posted to the embassy in Tehran, Iran. Weeks later, on November 4, radical Islamic students stormed the compound and took Sickmann and 51 other Americans captive.

Over the next 444 days, he and his fellow hostages endured privation and torture as officials sought their release. On April 24, 1980, eight U.S. servicemen died during a failed rescue attempt known as Operation Eagle Claw.

To secure the hostages’ release, President Jimmy Carter’s administration signed an accord on Jan. 19, 1981, that, among other concessions removed a freeze on nearly $8 billion in Iranian assets and included a pledge “not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”

The next day, within minutes of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as U.S. president, Iran released the hostages. Soon after arriving home, Sickmann left the Marines for a successful career in sales.

He now works for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to the children and spouses of U.S. military men and women disabled or killed in service to their country.

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