Decorated Vietnam veteran Clebe McClary, known as one of the most outstanding inspirational and motivational speakers in America, is coming to Boone.
McClary will be the featured guest speaker at Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Sunday, Mar. 29, during the morning services at 8:45 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and at 11: 15 a.m.
No stranger to the area, McClary has visited Boone on several occasions, having spoken more than a decade ago at Mount Vernon, and just last year, was invited to Hebron Colony Ministries for its annual fall homecoming event. He has also participated in special events of Samaritan’s Purse, in particular, Operation Heal our Patriots.
Critically injured in Vietnam with little to no chance for survival, McClary will once again share with his Boone audience his personal testimony of courage, determination, dedication and faith.
According to Don Holder, executive director at Hebron, McClary is living proof that, with the right attitude, all things are possible.
In fact, McClary’s story is documented in his autobiography, “Living Proof,” and again, from the eyes of his wife, Deanna McClary, in her heartfelt autobiography, “Committed To Love.”
McClary speaks of Deanna as one who loved him and gave him the will to live and who has been with him every step of the way.
McClary, who fulfills about 200 speaking engagements a year, is as comfortable in a small group of 20 as he is with those numbering 10,000 or more.
Among his favorite (personal) quotes, which also serves as his mission statement, is a simple phrase with a powerful message: “Do it right. Don’t screw up. Finish strong.”
His story proves that he’s done all three.
Born Patrick Cleburne McClary, he was raised on a 10,000-acre plantation in the South Carolina Low Country. He still calls the area home today, residing with his family on Pawley’s Island.
McClary grew up as a high school all-star, an all around, all-American boy who loved the outdoors and spent a lot of his free time fishing and hunting.
His dream was to become a college coach, and like other goals he set for himself, he did just that.
In 1967, a short time before his wedding to the one he has described as his beautiful southern belle, McClary experienced a life-altering event, when he witnessed a male college student burn the American flag during a protest of the Vietnam War.
Disillusioned by the act, he said, he resigned from his position as the college coach, walked off the campus and went straight to Parris Island to join the U.S. Marine Corps.
After completing officer’s training school in Quantico, Virginia, First Lt. McClary left behind his new bride to become platoon leader of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam.
On his 19th (recon) patrol, deep in enemy territory, McClary continued to lead his men — despite suffering devastating injuries, which included the loss of his left arm and eye.
After spending two and a half years in military hospitals, undergoing more than 34 major operations and countless hours of physical therapy, McClary has since spent countless hours sharing his powerful story to motivate others around the world.
Today, McClary makes no apologies for his service in the Lord's Army. His testimony is proof that he continues to uphold the vow he took when he became a Marine: Any mission assigned will be accomplished in a superior manner, no matter what the obstacles.
McClary often refers to himself as “a complete Marine” — and has said that, for him, USMC will always mean a “U. S. Marine for Christ.”
You don't want to miss this powerful testimony of how one man refused to let war destroy him, how he rebounded and turned his personal battles into victory.
Mount Vernon Baptist Church is located at 3505 Bamboo Rd. in Boone.
For more information, call (828) 266-9700 or visit www.mtvernonchrurch.org.
What Others Have Said About Clebe McClary:
“The fact that Clebe is even here to speak to us after what he's been through is a miracle. He's an inspiration to every American in every walk of life.” —Tommy LaSorda, Former Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers
“Clebe is a man who represents all that is good about this country, one of our best.”
The Reverend Billy Graham
“Clebe is a genuine American hero with a convincing message that will inspire, encourage, entertain and offer genuine hope.” —Zig Ziglar