Larry Gene Burkholder

Private First Class
Army of the United States
05 November 1948 - 05 October 1969
Portland, IN
Panel 17W Line 044


Larry G Burkholder

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Larry Gene Burkholder

08 Jun 1999


10 Nov 2002

Larry and I graduated from Portland High School, Class of 1966, the best of friends. We had gone to school together since the third grade. The memory that prevails the most of those years is that Larry never learned to drive, thinking surely he would die in a violent auto accident. He either walked or gladly paid for the gas to go where he wanted.

I spent the evening of my 21st birthday (8/11/69) celebrating it with Larry. He was to ship out the following morning and didn't want to go to sleep. When Bill's closed we headed to the country to go fishin' til the wee hours of the morning. I will never forget that day as long as I live. Larry was sure he wouldn't live to turn 21. He was sure he would die and even told me that the Army would bring me a Christmas present in a green bag. He told me I wouldn't be able to tell it was him ... just his dog tags for recognition.

Larry's life was taken in battle on October 5, 1969, just 31 days before his 21st birthday. The Army did bring him home as he thought, identified only by his tags.

Larry, I miss you and will always wonder what your life would have been like if you had survived Viet-Nam. You are still missed by many of us today, 33 years after your death.

From a friend,
Melodi S. Haley
910 S. Vine Street, Portland, IN 47371

10 Dec 2003

A Classmate Remembered

The Portland High School, Portland, Indiana, class of 1966 lost two members to the Vietnam War and we have remembered them on our class website. Larry Burkholder was called to an unpopular war and served his country honorably. He is remembered by all of us often.

After graduation we went off to college, a job, or the war. Returning veterans came home without recognition, continuing on with our lives like Americans from other wars. Our war dead are sometimes little remembered except by family or friends.

On November 8, 2002, I had a unique opportunity recall the sacrifice Larry made for the United States of America and the cause of freedom around the world. I flew as honorary pilot on a Vietnam veteran UH-1 Huey helicopter on one leg of a long mission in the documentary film "In the Shadow of the Blade." Essentially, a UH-1 Huey helicopter from that war was refurbished and crewed to fly to 42 different LZs (landing zones) from Florida, north to Kentucky and as far west as Angel Fire, NM, site of the first Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to document the story of how that war affected us, our families and friends. It celebrates the soldiers of that war, living and dead, the journey their families and friends travel as they cope with grief and loss and just going on with our lives. It is the story of our war as told from the human perspective. It isn't a history of the process of the war, but of the men and women who were affected by it. At each LZ the Huey, the prolific symbol of that war, drew crowds and not surprisingly, stories of courage, sacrifice, honor, brotherhood and hope. It is not a political statement glorifying war, but a cry for America to "hate war, but love the American warrior" as then Lt. Colonel Hal Moore, combat commander in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam recently said. He was the battalion commander storied in the book and movie "We Were Soldiers Once - and Young," by reporter/author Joe Galloway.

To remember Larry's life and what he meant to each of his classmates, I carried our class yearbook, The Typhoon, beside my seat during the flight. I don't know that Larry ever flew on a Huey in the few short months he was in Vietnam, but I expect so. He will be forever in this soldier's mind.

From a High School classmate,
Jim Morrical
14 Lucky Leaf Court
The Woodlands, TX 77381-3812

A Note from The Virtual Wall

B Company, 5th of the 46th Infantry, lost four men on 05 October 1969:
  • SP4 Robert M. Haynes, Amarillo, TX
  • PFC Larry G. Burkholder, Portland, IN
  • PFC Shelby G. Foster, Ohley, WV
  • PFC Ralph E. Piano, Madison, NJ

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
08 Jun 1999

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index B
IN State Index . Panel 17W
46TH INF RGT Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 12/25/2003