LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Larry Guthrie was rewarded for being the best, but having that skill meant that he saw the worst of war.
"There were a lot of people who were shot and wounded and killed. But I was one of the lucky ones that just got shot," said Guthrie, 66.
The Floydada native served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He was told that the life expectancy for a sniper is about 30 minutes, which is why he says it's a miracle he's alive.
"I took three rounds, but two of them hit my rifle. If those two hadn't hit my rifle, I wouldn't be here today. I know that for a fact," Guthrie said.
Guthrie's tour was cut short. He returned to the states after he got shot, but he says returning was the worst part. He says the people who he was fighting for, who he almost gave his life for, didn't want anything to do with him.
"We walked down through a line going from a plane into the inside, and people would spit on you. That was the hardest part coming home," he said.
Nevertheless, Guthrie says he couldn't help thinking about his fellow Marines who didn't get that same opportunity.
"I lost several, a bunch. New kids would come over…I've seen some come over and two weeks later, they were in body bags."
Guthrie says those are the heroes....not him.
"The ones that died... They are the heroes. They gave everything to save this country…and people better not forget it."