Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — The best way to hear a story, is to hear it first hand from the person who saw it, who lived it.
That's where the Veterans History Project comes in. Veterans from across the country share their war stories so future generations can hear what happened through the eyes heroes.
The latest war hero to have a story preserved forever: Lt. Clebe McClary, a Vietnam war veteran and local hero.
Congressman Tom Rice and Lt. McClary met on an airplane a few years back. The rest is history. Congressman Rice helped make it possible for the USS Ralph Johnson to be commissioned in Charleston. PFC Johnson saved Lt. McClary's life during the Vietnam War.
Lt. Clary suffered major injuries. He was in the hospital for more than two years and had more than 40 operations. Since then, he's dedicated his life to helping others. He does an average of 250 speeches a year.
“I think I had something to share. When you’ve got a guy jump on a grenade to save your life, I think you owe him something. I’ve tried to keep his name alive and what he’s done," he said speaking about Johnson.
He lives his life on strong faith and a very special quote.
“My men got an old piece of artillery shell, got an old piece of wood and made a plaque for me and they gave it to me in the hospital. On that plaque it said, 'In this world of give and take, there are not enough people willing to give what it takes.' And we have to be willing to give what it takes. We talk about freedom, it’s not free," he said.
Lt. McClary has dedicated his life to helping and inspiring the men and women who have served and are serving our country. To learn more about how you can help, click here. For more information about the Veterans History Project, click here.