Central Texas Heroes: A Preview of "From the Ashes of Vietnam"

Veteran Bart Smith on his wedding day

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Many of those who served in Vietnam came home changed after combat.

The problems caused by PTSD strained relationships and marriages, sometimes to the point of divorce.

One Central Texas Hero went through that himself.

But after being featured in We Can't Forget Vietnam an old flame walked back into Bart Smith's life.

In the time of bobby socks and milkshakes young love bloomed between Bart and his crush Lynn.

In the 1950s they were just children but by the 1960s Vietnam pulled them apart.

Bart went into the Marine Corps and Lynn couldn't wait until he got home.

But enemy attacks left Smith with devastating injuries.

"I was wounded and sent to the Philadelphia Naval hospital," Smith told us.

After he was discharged he took a few jobs eventually landing in Detroit.

"Then when she moved up there I said we'll let's get married," he said.

But the war had taken a major toll on Bart.

Lynn said, "he had combat fatigue, combat reactions and nightmares. I thought the only way to make him happy would be to leave so he could go on to do whatever he wanted to do and maybe he could find somebody to make him happy."

Winter had come to the love that bloomed so long ago.

But that's the thing about winter, spring comes next.

"I needed to tell her that it wasn't her fault," Smith said.

You can find out what happens to the two of them in our special, "From the Ashes of Vietnam," coming up Friday at 6:30 p.m. right here on KWTX News 10.