PFC - E3 - United States Army
11B20 - Infantryman
B Company, 2nd Battalion (Mechanized)
2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
Began tour on August 31, 1967
23 Years Old
July 16, 1944 in Humboldt, Nebraska - June 9, 1968
This message was left in the Faces On The Wall
notebook that travels with the tribute...
A letter to Mr. and Mrs. Archer G. Smith, Larry's parents...
June 16, 1968
The officers and men of the 1st Infantry Division join with me in extending our deepest
and most sincere sympathy in the loss of your son, Larry.
Your son served his nation proudly, carrying out a tradition of duty to country
that is a cherished part of our American heritage. He was an outstanding soldier, and
his devotion to duty earned him the highest respect of members of the division.
Realizing that my words can scarcely compensate for your loss, I trust that in some
small measure I can ease your burden of grief by assuring you that Larry served his
country well. He was a fine man, and we of the 1st Infantry Division mourn the death of
a valued comrade.
As soldiers we believe that the Creator of all men reserves a special place in His
Kingdom for those who pay the supreme sacrifice for the cause of freedom and our way
of life. It is my hope that your faith, your family, and your friends will help you in this
hour of need.
Keith L. Ware
A letter to Mr. and Mrs. Archer G. Smith, Larry's parents...
June 18, 1968
It is with deep regret that I must write this letter to you. The Officers and men
of Company B 2d Battalion (Mech) 2d Infantry, extend to you our most profound
sympathy on the recent loss of your son, Private First Class Larry E. Smith,
US 65 005 545, who died in the service of his country on 9 June 1968.
On the afternoon of 8 June 1968, Bravo Company was engaged in jungle clearing
operations in the Michelin Rubber Plantation, northwest of Lai Khe. While securing
Rome Plows as they cut down the intense jungle, they were suddenly engaged by an
estimated ten man enemy force. Upon the initial burst of enemy fire, the Armored
Personnel Carrier on which Larry was riding was suddenly struck with a Rocket
Powered Grenade. Although seriously wounded, Larry directed a devastating stream
of fire in order to cover the evacuation of the other wounded. He continued to lay down
such a devastating amount of fire that it enabled the others to be evacuated safely. It
was at this time that he was forced to be evacuated. Larry was taken immediately by
helicopter to the 93rd Evacuation Hospital. Although Larry received the best medical
care possible, he died from his wounds at 0930 hours, 9 June 1968. It may be of some
comfort to you to know that Larry succumbed to his wounds peacefully and that he did
not suffer unnecessary pain.
Larry's loss will be deeply felt by all of us in Bravo Company as he was greatly
respected by his comrades and by all his superiors. Larry died protecting the freedom
of his country while doing his share to turn back the tide of Communism in Vietnam.
Chaplain Moon conducted a memorial service for Larry which was attended by all
the Officers and men of this company, please accept this letter as a symbol of our
sympathy and know that we share your sorrow and loss.
James W. Burke
FUNERAL SERVICE FOR
PFC Larry E. Smith
Deceased: June 9, 1968
Services: Lincoln, Nebraska
June 19, 1968
Southview Christian Church
Clergyman: Rev. N. Dwain Acker
Soloist: Mrs. Calvin Hillers
Organist: Mrs. Louis Trzcinski
Director: Roper & Sons'
Great hymns of adoration, praise and affirmation
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's
house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a
place for you. And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and
the way ye know. (John 14:1-14)
Blessed by God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies,
and the God of all comfort: who comforteth us in all our tribulation that we may be able
to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are
comforted of God. (II Corinthians 1:3-4)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them
also that love his appearing, (II Timothy 4:7-8)
Larry E. Smith was born July 16, 1944 in Humboldt, Nebraska. He was inducted
into the United States Army 29 March 1967 going to Vietnam in August. Private
First Class Larry E. Smith made the supreme sacrifice for his country. He had served
faithfully in the combat zone for some nine-months. Receiving critical wounds in heavy
fighting on Saturday, June 8, he died in the Army hospital in Saigon on Sunday, June 9, 1968.
Larry had lived in Humboldt until 1951 at which time the family moved to Wann, Nebraska,
where his father had served the Christian Church as Pastor. In 1957 the family came
to Lincoln. He had made his home here until entering the Army. A 1964 graduate of
Lincoln High School, he had worked at St. Elizabeth's Hospital here in Lincoln. He is
survived by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Archer Smith, a brother Duane of Omaha and sister
Mrs. Frank Collins of Lincoln and a number of other relatives. He was a member of this
congregation where he had served as a Junior Deacon.
O God as we come here today we would not pretend that we are not troubled - we are.
We remember that our Lord wept when he heard of the death of his friend Lazarus. We
come again to express our grief at the death of one so young and so dear to us. But we
come not as those with no hope. We come also to express our faith in Thy love for us and
Thy faithfulness unto us. We come to worship thee who didst overcome the power
of death and evil. Fulfill Thy promises of comfort and sufficient strength to us. In
the name of Christ we pray. Amen
Just a Closer Walk With Thee
Mrs. Calvin Hillers
We believe that the Bible was written men who experienced life's troubles and torments,
who wrestled with questions of life's meaning, who knew the daily difficulties of pain
and suffering, temptation, war and death, sorrow and grief and at the same time held a
hope - found a faith and who inspired by God wrote of God's faithfulness to them.
How great is the comfort of the Scriptures at such a time as this. Let us hear the
work of God:
Psalm 130 - John 11:21-27
Isaiah 40:1-11 & 28-31
II Thessalonians 4:13-18
Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Mrs. Calvin Hillers
We come here today to honor the memory of Larry Smith, to pay our respects to him
for giving his life for his country and to worship God whom he loved. But this
isn't easy. This is never easy - it is always difficult. It might have been somewhat
easier if he weren't so young, if we'd have been able to see him, be with him, talk to
him, if this were not such a complicated war - if there weren't such strong feelings of
question about it. But there is no question about his death and our feelings of
helplessness - our feelings of doubt and discouragement - our feelings of suffering and
sorrow, our feelings of guilt and grief, our feelings of sympathy for this family - our
feelings of concern and love for them - our prayers for them.
Moreover, there is no real question in our minds about God's concern for us and how
he wants us to be concerned about each other, to care for each other. Larry himself
expressed this pretty well in a letter to me some time ago. He asked how his Mom
and Dad were doing - about his sister and her family. He thanked me for my letter
and for the church paper and everybody that worked on it. He said all the guys read
it and it made them feel real good inside when they read it. He explained how they
helped one another in battle and afterwards. He pointed out that that's what we all
should do - help one another.
Jesus said, "This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved
you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Is not this our hope - as we are helped of God - and as we help our fellowman in
LET US PRAY TOGETHER THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy
will be done on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread and forgive
us debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from
evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
O God - great and unending is Thy love for us who dost care for each of us,
as a good officer his men, as a parent for his child, who would lead us in ways of
righteous, harmony and good will among nations and between men as brothers. We
give thanks for the Good News of Christ - his way and truth and life, for his willingness
to suffer for the good of others. We find help in the hope and promises of the
Scriptures today. We pray especially for the Smith family, for Mr. & Mrs. Smith,
Duane and his family, Carol and her family, and all the relatives, Larry's friends
here and his buddies still in Vietnam - undergird them, lift them up, may their faith
continue to reassure them in this time and always. May we all support them
in our prayers and in acts of thoughtfulness and kindness. Help us all to be
encouraged by memories of good times with Larry and also by the realization
that he is at peace with thee, no longer faced with the limitations of this life nor
the pain and suffering which he had to endure. Grant that we all may go to
meet today's challenge and call of Christ and which Larry re-echoed to us, May
we dedicate ourselves to our faith and Christ's purpose and plan for us as we are
able to see it.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may
abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
If you would like to post your remembrance
about Larry, please click here.