War survivor speaks in North Platte

NORTH PLATTE, Neb Retired United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sargent and the only Marine survivor of the USS Liberty Bryce F. Lockwood spoke at the Fox Theater in North Platte.

On June 8th, 1967 Lockwood was aboard the USS Liberty when it had been attacked.

"A division officer stuck his head in the door and said, 'Sargent Lockwood could you come here a minute, please?' He called me out into the passageway. He got into a discussion with me with the senior intelligence officer aboard the ship when there was a sudden blinding flash of light and a tremendous noise and explosion which was the torpedo which had struck the ship." said Lockwood.

"The first thought that came to my mind was, 'Well Lord, I guess this is over with. At least Lois and the kids are taken care of.'"

In the years after his horrific experience, Lockwood became a pastor.

"We were living in homestead Florida when I was actually called into the ministry. We had a Sunday School bus ministry in Florida," said Lockwood.

"We had a large bus route with a lot of children, parents and a lot of those that had become members of our church as a result of our work. I went to a Baptist Bible college in Springfield, Missouri and became an ordained minister there."

Lockwood says his time in the Marines helped him in his ministry.

"You have a feeling for people that have been through trauma and are needing help. Mental help and spiritual help and I like to be able to produce that."

Lockwood has also been traveling to speak to people about that day on the USS Liberty. In his travels he's been able to reach out to those who have been affected by war.

"There's a lot of emotion involved because a lot of the veterans that come to me had family members or themselves who have been through combat trauma or suffering from post traumatic stress disorder," said Lockwood.

"They've lost friends, lost loved ones and so forth. And it's pretty rewarding to sit down with them and comfort them and tell them there's a way to get through this."

Lockwood will be speaking again at the Fox Theater at 10 p.m. on Sunday.