Larry L Howell

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
12 July 1948 - 28 April 1969
Versailles, Missouri
Panel 26W Line 071


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Larry L Howell

01 Feb 2002

Although I didn't know him, he was my first cousin.

I found a clipping of a poem in my grandmother's belongings and it was written by Larry Howell while he was in Viet Nam. I thought it was something that should be shared.

I would hate for him to be forgotten.


You have the good side of all our battles, the enemy we kill,
but have you ever seen a buddy fall, while charging up a hill?
At home you walk down sidewalks or in a crowded mall,
but here, brush on our jungle, trails so thick, we have to crawl.

Back stateside, you have bridges to go across a river,
but here in Nam we walk right in, when it's cold we shiver.
You've got air conditioners there to cool your shop or den,
but over here it's so damn hot, it's hell we think we're in.

At home you take your wife or girl and go out and dance all night,
but over here we stand our guard - sometimes stiff with fright.
Have you ever looked around and seen the many things you've got?
Or once stopped to think about the many things we've not?

You have cold drinks and water, you have hot meals to eat,
any one of those to us would be a treat.
And every day you take a walk down life's easy path,
but I'll bet you've never had to go a month without a bath.

To you a bath is water hot enough to steam,
to us it's nothing more than a leech-infested stream.
You have no doubt been scared enough to think the end is near
but I'll bet you've not had to live a whole year in total fear.

You folks have got it easy compared to us across the sea
but all any soldier asks of you is "Please remember me!"

Larry Howell
Killed in Action
Vietnam, 1969
Panel 26, Row 71 on the Wall

A memorial initiated by his cousin,
Julie Howell DeSoignie

11 May 2003

To my Buddy.

It's been thirty three years now since we have parted but you will never be forgotten. Just read your poem and remembered the night you wrote it. We will met again someday but until then I will remember.

Dennis Sterrett
SP4, Delta Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, 25th Inf Div, Vietnam 1969

28 May 2006


My name is Al Martinez and I was with Delta Company from 4/1/68 to 4/1/69. Larry was a soldier's soldier. I mean he was an excellent soldier with whom I had the honor of serving. He was the guy that you wanted in your foxhole. When I heard he had died I wasn't surprised the way he died. He told his best friend Dennis that he would take the lead when the crap hit the fan. I know that Dennis to this day feels guilty about what happened to Larry, but knowing Larry the way I did I know he wouldn't of had it any other way. I was back home when I got the news of Larry's death and I am still affected by it. As dumb as it may sound, I feel that if I had been there maybe he wouldn't have died. Our other friend Charles Best told me that he helped carry him to the helicopter. I understand that he also brought Larry home when he died. Believe me, I will never, ever forget Larry. I am sure he is in a better place but call it selfish, I wish he was here.

God bless him and his family.

An old grunt,

From a Vietnam buddy,
Al Martinez

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a first cousin,
Julie Howell DeSoignie

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 1 Feb 2002
Last updated 06/03/2006