ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The year was 1967.

“I got drafted,” retired Purple Heart veteran Clarence Martin told 7NEWS. ” I wasn’t married three months and Uncle Sam said ‘I got a place for you.'”

That’s when Clarence Martin joined the Army.

Soon after he deployed.

“They sent me to Vietnam. I stayed around 11 months and 26 days,” Martin said. “I said [to his wife] they weren’t going to keep me, I’ll be back home.”

Martin was a basic radio repairman and a high-speed teletype operator.

He said he quickly worked himself up the ranks.

“Our job was we went out and set up communication lines,” Martin explained.

One morning on the job, he said the place he was staying at was hit with mortar rounds.

He took shrapnel to the leg and that’s how he received his Purple Heart.

“I was lucky I just got a knick,” Martin said. “It was probably a little more than that but compared to what a lot I got… I come out really lucky.”

Martin said he got bandaged up and kept on.

He was eventually honorably discharged.

Today, Martin receives 100 percent disability because of Vietnam.

“I got treated for colon cancer,” he explained. “Four years later, I had prostate cancer.”

Then two years later, prostate cancer again.

Doctors link Martin’s illnesses to agent orange.

He confides in veterans at Vets Helping Vets Anderson to speak through his problems.

“Which is one of the best groups they are around here,” said Martin.

Martin said it helps him and said if you need help too, consider just showing up at one of their many meetings.

Clarence Martin, Thank You for Your Service.

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