Vietnam Vet pronounced dead twice, later survived, honored on Ve - | WBTV Charlotte

Vietnam Vet pronounced dead twice, later survived, honored on Veterans Day

INDIAN LAND, SC (WBTV) -

A Vietnam War veteran pronounced dead twice, and who later survived, captivated hundreds of students and staff at Indian Land High School Friday. It was a part of the school's Veterans Day program., that began with a breakfast made and served by students for those who fought for our country.

"I'll always love America," said Jacky Bayne.

Bayne, who is from Indian Land, joined the army as a volunteer. He and his dog, Bruno, would scout out trails for traps or other dangers that could put soldiers in harm's way.

"Freedom is never free. It always costs something," said Bayne.

The price for Bayne, his leg, and Bruno. After several missions, the exhausted animal didn't pick up on the device that would later explode.

"They told us to move out, that's the last thing I remember in Vietnam. We were going up a trail, the sky was bright," Bayne recalled.

Bayne was pronounced dead, placed in a body bag, and was in a building for other soldiers who had been killed in action.

"He almost didn't even look like a human being he was torn up that bad," said Bruce Logan, the army specialist who was on duty that day in 1967.

Logan said he checked Bayne's pulse, but he had no signs of life. 

"I looked at the solider and I said to myself, he's gone," Logan said.

What happened next, Logan can only describe as divine intervention. He had other bodies in the room, but for some reason, went back to check on Bayne. Despite no vital signs, Logan felt the need to call for doctors to have a look.

"You need to get some physicians down here to check on this solider, you owe him that much," Logan said.

Within minutes, doctors rushed to the room, stuck a needle in Bayne, and rushed him off. Logan would later read in a headline in an overseas newspaper that read, "Dead G.I. comes back to life."

"God wasn't through with me yet, and Bruce wasn't through with me yet," Bayne said.

Bayne woke up at Walter Reed hospital, where his mother and a nurse were praying for him. 

"As I was coming out of a comma, I heard the sweetest prayer I've ever heard in my life," Bayne recalled.

During Bayne's recovery, he met a woman named Patsy, who had come to visit one of her family members in the same hospital. The two would later marry and start their life together.

Bayne's mother later passed away, but her wish to find the man who helped save her son, did not die with her. Later, Bayne met Ron Dunn, a Marine who had heard about the story. After striking up a friendship, Bayne told Dunn about his mother's wish.

Dunn promised to help find the man who didn't give up on Bayne.

"If you give your word, you keep your word," Dunn said

Through letters and requests to state lawmakers, and several branches of the military, Dunn located Logan at Fort Bragg and connected the two after more than a decade.

"When I got to him and looked straight in his eye, I was speechless," said Bayne, recalling the moment he met Logan.

"He and I looked at each other, it was like we were not strangers, at that moment I felt the presence of angels," said Logan.

The miraculous story was made possible because of those who persevered.

"The Marines like mission accomplished, and I felt I got the mission accomplished," Dunn said.

The three are now life long friends, united by their love for their country.

"That's why I love America, the love I had for it, and the love it showed for me," said Bayne.

All share their powerful story with anyone fortunate enough to hear it.

"Sometimes I wonder if it was my calling for my existence on earth from the moment I was born," said Logan.

Bayne received a standing ovation from the students at Indian Land High School. Many said it put Veteran's Day into perspective.

"In Elementary and Middle School I never looked at it like something as big as this, but it really does make me think, "wow, this is really important," said Allie Spence, who sang in the choir during the program.

She said she held back tears listening to Bayne's story, and later came to shake his hand. 

"I said thank you and that his story really moved me, and I really did appreciate everything he's done for us," said Spence.

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