Walter Buchanan, a Hometown Hero - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Walter Buchanan, a Hometown Hero

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Walter Buchanan, a Hometown Hero Walter Buchanan, a Hometown Hero
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Walter Buchanan was as fearless as they came at 17 years old.

"When I was a young soldier, I was invincible. They couldn't do anything, they couldn't hurt me, they couldn't kill me or anything," said Buchanan, 80.

Buchanan enlisted in the United States Army in 1950. He fought on the front lines of the Korean War for 13 months as a machine gunner.

He says his skills and training kept him fighting, but it was his mind that kept him alive.

"I was sitting by my friend and he got a bullet right below the helmet. I looked at that and it made me mad and I looked to see where the flash was at and I made up my mind to go get him and I did," Buchanan said.

Buchanan arrived in Korea with eight other men. He went home alone.

"The average life of a machine gunner is two minutes. That's as long as you are supposed to live in combat, but I survived," he said.

However, Buchanan says sometimes the worst wounds are the ones left unseen.

"They said I have PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)."

Buchanan says even now, 60 years later, he's haunted by vivid flashbacks of war.

"People are wounded more than just open wounds. A lot of people are wounded in the mind," he said.

He says he'll never forget his fallen comrades, or his fallen enemies.

"It's hard to kill people, it's really hard, but they kill or get killed. That's the way it is."

He says it was necessary for us to live in a land that is free.

"I was fighting for our freedom, yours and mine."

For more Hometown Hero stories, click here.

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