He was only 17-years-old when he joined the Marines out of High School.

Not long after receiving his diploma, Bob McDowell was in the middle of some serious combat battles in Vietnam.

He told Erie News Now, " You have some good memories and you have some bad memories. Everyone I served with was a volunteer, once I served with them in a combat zone, they became brothers."

Now 73-years-old, McDowell continues to run Bob's Gun Shop and Shooting Range on Route 99.

He has a separate room inside his business, with pictures from Vietnam and some of the people he served with.

"My very best friend was killed 10 feet from me, we tried to keep him going, when the chopper was not there and we were unable to save him. He is on the Wall and that is who I go and see."

When McDowell returned home after doing two tours of duty, he was angry and didn't care for what people had to say..

"They all knew I wasn't the same guy from before I went over to Vietnam. God himself has given us the ability to overcome the trauma and the heartache, all we have to do is open our minds."