Updated: 11:32 p.m. MST
Note: The upcoming MCAS-Yuma airshow will honor Vietnam and Korean War veterans. News 11 is sitting down with some veterans this week to share some of their military memories.
For 75-year-old Vietnam War veteran Chuck LeDrew, attitude is everything.
"You get up every morning, put your feet on the deck, and you're either going to say, 'Good morning, God,' or 'Good God, it's morning.' It's your choice. And that choice will affect everything around you."
And at age 16, LeDew had a choice: leave high school to work in the mines or the military.
Although LeDrew began his military career in the Canadian Army as a boy soldier, he later migrated to the U.S. and joined the Marine Corps--shipping off to fight in Vietnam.
For his service and his injuries, LeDrew was awarded a purple heart medal.
"I did get hit--spent some time in the hospital. But I didn't have anything near what some of these kids have gone through and what you see today."
LeDrew says he has many great memories with his fellow servicemen, so he focuses on that, and tends not to look back on the harsh realities of war.
"I went to the Vietnam Wall in D.C. and did a tracing. I don't want to go back there again--no need to."
With a military career that spans more than two decades, LeDrew retired as a master gunnery sergeant.
"That was our last salute: We turned, faced each other, shook hands, saluted, and marched off," LeDrew says as he points to a picture of his retirement ceremony.
He says the most important thing he learned from his service was discipline.
Nowadays, LeDrew spends his time volunteering and mentoring youth --something he says gives him hope in a world filled with negativity.
"It makes you feel good about the future."