Retired Major Ron Griggs said, "I can remember like it was yesterday..."
Once you go to war, you never leave. It's been over 40 years since army major Ron Giggs was deployed to Vietnam. But the sounds, the smells, the images, they'll never escape him.
"My first tour I flew Huey which we used to transport troops back and forth into combat zones", Griggs said.
Just 24 years old, Giggs was responsible for going into the most dangerous situations to rescue fellow soldiers.
He said, "Durning that tour, I got shot down twice. The second time I got shot down I was down for 8 hours had a broken back and a fractured neck."
Scared to death and thousands of miles away from home, Griggs was flown to a hospital in japan where he spent 97 days recovering.
"The colonel of the hospital came in and said your fit to fly, but your also fit to go home, Isaid sir, with all do respect, I'm not going home", Griggs said.
A year later, Griggs was assigned to the Cobra.
"Anytime there was any trouble anywhere we got called."
The cobra was one of the army's highest performing attack helicopter in Vietnam.
"You had the feeling you were invincible, but the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong proved me wrong, they shot me down twice."
This would make for the 4th and final time..
"I was down for 8 hours, they tried to come and get me several times, but the enemy fire was so strong. I could hear the Viet Cong as if they were 20 yards away, I knew they were waiting for it to get dark."
Just minutes before the sun set, Griggs says he got a call over the radio telling him to cover up with anything he could find. The united states was getting ready to drop napalm to kill off the enemies.
"All I had to cover up with was my co-pilot. He had already been shot. Bless his heart, he saved my life. They brought in napalm and I never heard another voice."
The brave young hero made it out alive, he was able to grow old with his family, but he never stops wondering why he made it out, when thousands of others didn't.
"To put your hand on those names again, you ask yourself why them...why not me?"
But, for a living hero who lived to tell his story of bravery and dedication..serving his country..is an honor.
"If they told me to be ready to go tomorrow, I'd be ready to go this afternoon. My country comes first."