By Debbie Gregory.
During a December 8th snowstorm in Fairborn, Ohio, Marine Veteran Larry Draughn was watching his son sled in their backyard. During this short amount of time, Draughn noticed three vehicles separately veer off the icy road, and get stuck in a ditch behind his house. Draughn did what most Veterans would do, if they’re able to- he helped them.
“People weren’t slowing down and they were slipping, sliding by,” said stranded 77 year old motorist, Wendell Ledbetter.
Despite the weather and other difficulties, Draughn didn’t want to see anyone stranded on the side of the road. So he positioned his truck so that he could use its winch to pull them out. In order to attach the winch’s straps, Draughn had to climb out of his truck into the icy ditch. Ledbetter and his wife, Mildred, voiced concern for Draughn’s health and safety. Draughn smiled at the couple’s concern. “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got metal knees, they don’t get wet,” Ledbetter recalled Draughn saying. Marine Corporal Larry Draughn lost both of his legs as a result of a 2009 roadside bomb explosion while on deployment in Afghanistan.
Draughn expressed that pulling people out of ditches is not heroic. According to Ledbetter, Draughn pulled all three cars out of the ditch in about 10 minutes. The speed and proficiency that Draughn displayed is a result of experience. Recently, Draughn pulled another stranded motorist from a ditch while coming home from a hunting trip.
He contends that this act is merely repayment to a community that has given him and his family so much. The house that he lives in was built and donated by a group called “Home For Our Troops.”
“The community did so much for me as far as building my house, and making sure me and my family had everything we needed,” Draughn told local reporters.
Since his injury, this wounded Veteran has proven again and again that he is anything but disabled. Draughn is still an active hunter and angler, and has participated in “The Ultimate Fishing Experience” a reality show that airs on NBC.
Larry Draughn is the walking embodiment of what American armed forces service members are supposed to be. Every branch instills in its warriors the necessity to adapt and overcome in all aspects. We celebrate Draughn and his ongoing dedication to selfless service to his country and his countrymen. Larry Draughn is a fine Marine, who exemplifies the highest values of the Marine Corps.
“He was a hero not only in Afghanistan, but he continues to be one here,” said Mildred Ledbetter.
We here at MilitaryConnection.com could not agree more. Semper Fidelis, Corporal Draughn.