Vietnam veteran shares how he deals with life after war
Larry Morris survived the war and learned how to deal with struggles off the battlefield
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s always good to hear from a Vietnam veteran who is not afraid to tell you the truth. Not only about what he’s been through, but how he overcame and continues to navigate life after surviving the battlefield.
Larry Morris was born and raised in Pulaski County, Virginia. He is 73 years old and all these years later he is able to give details about Vietnam as if it were happening this very moment. “We had just come off the plane from Hong Kong. We get in the airport all of the sudden... boom, boom, boom. So they tell us to run. So we go outside and we start running and the next thing I know, I’m face down on the ground. The explosions were knocking me down on the ground,” said Morris.
Morris joined the United States Army May 1, 1968 in Roanoke on his 18th birthday. “I went in as an 18-year-old baby and I came out a 19-year-old man out of Vietnam,” explained Morris.
Morris left his hometown of Pulaski County and went to Fort Bragg for basic training. After his training to be a heavy equipment operator, he went on a 30-day leave and was immediately sent to Vietnam. He remembers all the boys who were forced to grow up that day. “They were fighting, you could see the tracers going everywhere. I’ll never forget how we all cried. It was scary.”
Life has since calmed down. Morris enjoys the small things because he knows what it’s like to go without. During Vietnam he recalls not eating for 14 days and going without water for more than a week.
Morris finds enjoyment in the newness of each day and just like his garden, he’s growing from his experiences. The ‘60s might hold the Vietnam War, but he’s got treasure from that time and he keeps it in his garage. He bought a 1966 Ford Ranchero. When asked, “What are you going to do with it?” His response is, “I’m going to drive it in the car shows!”
Morris credits his faith for getting him through Vietnam and life after the war. For the past 54 years he has carried a small Bible in his pocket that his grandmother gave to him. “When you have that inner feeling that Christ lives within us, there is no thing in this world that could ever replace it.”
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