There's not a lot of soldiers like Doug Terry left alive.
The retired Lt. Colonel spent 22 years serving his country...and has the memories and medals to prove it.
Lt. Col. Terry wants to make sure we don't forget our veterans.
So he shared his stories from the Vietnam War with our Nordia Epps.
The list of medals that retired Lt. Col. Doug Terry earned for his military service is impressive...a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 26 Air Medals.
But the medals don't mean as much to the combat veteran as the memories he hopes to keep fresh in our minds.
Lt. Col. Doug Terry, "We're going to be gone. Yep.
Reporter, "Gotta remember right?"
Lt Col Terry, "(tearing up) yep!"
It's still hard for the soldier to recall his time in Vietnam, from October 1970 to September 1971.
Lt. Col Ret. Terry, "It's tough. It's tough. We gave a lot more than just the time over there because, you know, we carry these things the rest of our life."
As a Cobra helicopter pilot, Lt. Col. Terry flew search and destroy missions in what was called a "free fire" zone, which meant if he survived being shot down, he would be killed.
He says on some missions he was told not to take any identification.
Lt. Col. Ret. Terry, "We were going places that we probably shouldn't have been and we were told you don't need to be captured. Whatever that means you know take your own life or whatever but you do not need to be captured."
He escaped capture ... despite hundreds of flights...and some close calls...
including the 2-day mission for which he received the Silver Star...the rescue of some fellow soldiers shot down deep inside Laos.
Lt. Col Ret. Terry, "The Air Force rescue people had tried to get them but the fire was too intense. The Navy tried. It was too intense. Then our Colonel said 'We'll get them.' "
And with help, they did, and everybody survived.
Lt. Col. Ret. Terry, "That day they did. Yes. Some of the people that took part in that rescue did not survive the entire year."
Lt. Col Terry credits luck or blessings that he made it home alive...with a whole new outlook.
Lt. Col. Ret. Terry, "My attitude was if I wasn't getting shot at then everything was all right. You could work any problem out if somebody's not there trying to kill you."
Now most of his fellow Vietnam Veterans are gone ...but many other wounded warriors remain.
Lt. Col. Ret. Terry, "We can never, ever repay the veterans for a loss of a limb, a loss of an arm. We can't ever pay for that, but we can support them."
For Lt. Col. Terry, they're the heroes.
For us so is he.