Tuesday we honor veterans who have served our country, including the more than 8 million who served during the Vietnam War. Thurman Everett said his memories of the war are very vivid, and sometimes painful. But he said his time spent in battle was worth it, after witnessing last week's historic presidential election. At 68 years old, Thurman Everett is thankful to be alive. Nearly 40 years ago he served in the Vietnam War, memories of death and destruction still play out like a movie in his mind. “It's a vivid photograph that's arched and archived in my remembrance; that one does not forget,” said Everett. “Things I've seen come back, places I've been come back, conversations I've had come back, exploits come back.” Everett admits those flashbacks have become easier to talk about as time passes. “By the grace of God you adjust and bring your mind from over there to reality,” he said. He was 29 when he served his first tour in Vietnam in 1969. He was a truck driver, supplying troops with combat gear. In 1971, he returned to serve in a war Everett said many today have forgotten. “To me folks just want to forget about it; just move on. When they talk about Vietnam we are the ones that fight and are still fighting,” he said. Everett went to war to fight for Vietnamese freedom around the same time black Americans were fighting for their own. Everett said this year Veterans Day will have special meaning, as our country elected its first black president. “To see an African American aspire to the highest office in the land, to see people of all persuasions all backgrounds rally to his age, it was worth my tours of duty. And I'd go again,” added Everett. Now this proud war vet remains hopeful one day, there will be world peace. “I wish I could live to see the day where there will be no such thing as war,” he said. Everett retired from the military and now pastors a church in Bladenboro.
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