Larry Shea

Specialist Five
Army of the United States
21 May 1948 - 24 August 1969
Eminence, Kentucky
Panel 19W Line 109


Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Larry Shea

The database page for Larry Shea

8 Jun 2002

Larry at the age of 7


They walk along the granite block,
past names all etched in stone.
Among so many others here,
but fell so alone.

So many here to touch a soul
that passed so long ago
and tears now streak from off your cheek,
emotions have to show.

There are so many here
who wish for the pain to end.
Why not reach out a hand to them,
to listen, to be a friend.

The Wall can bridge the largest gap,
it made our nation one.
We thank the nurses one and all,
and every soldier, my son.

Whose names we see forever etched
upon the this granite stone.
Though painful, make us realize
that we are not alone.

The sacrifice each one of you made
that brings us to this shrine,
brings all those closer, left behind,
perhaps the grand design.

To help the friends and family
to understand the call
that took your names from off life's list
and placed them on this Wall.

You fought a war, though unpopular,
in Vietnam so far away.
and now you've found the greatest peace
as we stand here and pray.

Beyond the Wall we hope to find
the reason for it all.
Why, you with pride went far away
to answer duty's call.

So rest in peace my warrior,
my brother, my son too,
and rest assured forever more,
we will all remember you.

The Wall means much to everyone.
these names on granite cast.
It keeps your memories alive
as long as time will last.

So look upon the the granite face
and touch the names with pride.
All their spirits linger there
beyond the Wall, inside.
- H. D. Hughes -

A memorial initiated by his brothers,
Barty, Keith and Kevin Shea

Larry extended his tour of duty in Vietnam but was able to come home for two weeks before beginning his extension. Those two weeks were the last time we saw him. The two photos immediately below were taken while he was at home.

Larry, nephew Mark, and brother Barty

Larry, Mom, and Pop when Larry left to return to Vietnam

Left, Larry with David Wells; center/right, in barracks near Danang

Larry with children and buddies

Vietnam; right, in front of an APC

We never learned about the injury or growth visible on his cheek.
12 Jun 2006

By Nancy Smoyer

A man stands by a panel where he has placed a large picture frame containing pieces of a boy's life - a picture of the young man in uniform, a newspaper article about him as a football star and one about his death, the letter from his Commanding Officer to the family. A couple comes up to look at it, and the man says to his wife, "I knew that man, I served with him." The other man hears him and tells him, "That's my brother."

A vet watches a young man staring at the Wall, touching a name. After a few minutes of hesitation, he goes over to him and finds that it was the boy's uncle whom he never knew. They talk and when the vet starts to leave, the young man asks if he could hug him. Afterwards, the boy's friends come back over to him and one of them awkwardly hugs him too.

Two men see another man doing a rubbing of the same person they are there to visit. When they talk, they find that the man doing the rubbing was his best friend in high school and the other two were his buddies in Vietnam. The vets say that they would like to get a message to his family, that there are people who still care. They tell the childhood friend that they have both named their first child after their buddy - both girls, both named Chris. The vets ask if the friend would like to know more about how Chris died and they go off together talking.

A young man with short hair and a fit body asks to do nine rubbings of one name on the last panel. It's his father who was in Special Forces and he too is a Green Beret and will be going to the Persian Gulf in a month.

A woman stands in front of her brother's panel. A man nearby asks a volunteer for six rubbing papers. The woman knows that when her brother was killed, 18 others in his platoon also died and so asks the man if he was a Marine and if he's looking at the same day. He says yes, he was in the same company, but doesn't know her brother or the man who died trying to save him. But he has buddies who are on the Wall with them and he was in the area at the time and so is able to tell her what happened on that day.

A vet is at the information booth trying to locate his buddy's name on the Directory computer. He knows the name should be there because he put him onto a chopper badly wounded, but it can't be found. While they are searching, another man comes up looking for his buddy's name which he too can't find. He had seen his platoon take devastating mortar fire at the LZ as he was being medevaced out. And then the two men realize that they are looking for each other.

A group of Soviet veterans who fought in Afghanistan come to visit their American comrades with whom they have so much in common in the wars they fought, both in foreign countries and at home. They place a folded flag from their country at the base of the Wall, and standing quietly around it, one by one place a red carnation across the flag. Someone speaks briefly in Russian and then they slowly disperse. At another time, Soviet Afghan veterans leave a cigarette, a shot glass and a piece of bread - the traditional salute to fallen comrades.

A vet sits in the grass on the edge of the sidewalk staring at a panel. A couple of times his friend, a fellow vet, goes over to speak briefly to him. Afterwards when they talk, he says he had gone back to Vietnam in his mind - so far back he didn't know his friend had spoken to him. Before their bus leaves a few hours later to take them back to Iowa, he sits down again with his buddies on the Wall - to say goodbye for now.

From The Virtual Wall
Nancy Smoyer served as a Red Cross "Donut Dollie" at An Khe, Danang and Cu Chi in 1967-68. Her brother, 2ndLt William S. Smoyer, USMC, was killed in action on 28 July 1968 while serving as a Platoon Leader with Kilo 3/7 Marines.

From his great nieces and nephews,
Adam Lane Long
Alexis Marie Long
Stone Shea
Courtney Shea
Heather Shea

12 Jun 2006

I walked along that long black Wall, with names as far as I could see.
Friends I knew in childhood now etched in memories.
I've touched their names so many times, remembered them with love.
I walk along, the rain pours down, tears from heaven above.

I watch a Vet, deep in thought, pain across his face.
He walks a mother to the Wall; he's taken his friend's place.
She reaches out to touch a name, the one that was her son.
They pause together in the rain, their memories a bond.

The men who fought, the men who died, their names for all to see
Their lives so brief, fallen short, a page in history.
We can't forget what they had done, so many years ago.
Sacrifices they have made, the bravery they showed.

I walked along that long black Wall, crying in the rain.
For all those men who've touched our lives, we'll never see again.

Catherine Anne McNeill
Copyright 1999
Reproduced under 17 USC �107

From his brother, uncle, son and friends,
Bethany Lynn Long
Keith Morgan Harrod
Kevin Glenn and Carla Harrod
Mark Anthony Shea
Michael Austin Shea
Marion and Francis Wininger

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A Troop, 1st of the 10th Cavalry, lost two men on 24 Aug 1969: SP5 Larry Shea and SP4 Bernard P. Bailey of Torrance, California.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 Jun 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009