Honoring Our Veterans: An Inspirational Story

11.22.06. In the 1960’s we were fighting a war thousands of miles away, the Vietnam War. In America we were also fighting a war, a war of civil rights.

James Price, a Vietnam Veteran says, "Being a black man in Vietnam was like being in another world..."

Price knows all to well, what both wars were like. “When your young and your in a war at that particular time. A lot of civil rights things were going on, it was the 60's and so it was kind of confusing to be a black male. I was fighting a war over there and they were fighting a war at home. You know? Where is my place?

I mean you know your black, but when your out in the fire fighting nobody cares if your black or white. All they want to know is if you have ammo to cover their butt. That's all they want to know. Coming back home it was a different thing, the first day I get back an get off the plane, I get called boy. That took an effect.” says Price.

At just 20 years old, James was told the night before he landed he was flying into south Vietnam. A country, that would change this marines life forever.

"My friend getting killed, it takes apart of you. How did I react? I killed a man. You learn life is not fair and you are not invincible. Death can happen at any moment. You find that you are capable of doing things you didn't think you were capable of doing. You find that it's alright to cry."

Those life changing experiences still haunt James to this day. "I just now have been able to go to oriental places. I don't go to Wal-Mart unless it's 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the morning. At 12:00 at night there are too many people. I don't like people around me too close. That's how it affected me. I walk around my house in the middle of the night peaking out windows if I’m hearing sounds"

But coping with it is key. For awhile James turned to drugs and alcohol. He finally turned his life around and tries to help others do the same thing.

“Things like this interview. Maybe I can tell someone who's coming back. They need to prepare for when they get back. It's not the same as when your sent out."

More than 40 years later, James is living in Bonham with his wife and children. He works for the Bonham VA, where they say he is an inspiration. A man who went through so much is more than willing to share it with others, as long as it changes at least one veterans life.