Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) — During the Vietnam War, a group of men from Indiana were deployed to serve with the National Guard. Now, they’re receiving a congressional honor.
“It’s not 50 years ago to me, it’s last week,” said Larry Rhodes.
In 1966, Larry Rhodes was 21, serving in the 151st infantry regiment of the *National Guard based out of Indiana. It was the only infantry unit from the national guard to be sent to Vietnam. Now, Rhodes is among a select group of veterans being honored by congress.
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for the state of Indiana and the whole country for that matter to see that D151 Airborne Rangers Company D is finally getting some company that it was due,” said Rhodes.
The Indiana Congressional Delegation introduced legislation to honor the 50th anniversary of the return of the Indiana Rangers from Vietnam.
“You look at people that are alive and you think of them as heroes, but really they’re just survivors, and it’s the people who died who are the heroes. And I think this honor should really be attributed to the 7 men who died in our unit more so than those who survived.”
Over 50 years later, Rhodes says he’s never forgotten the day he got to come home.
“I had a daughter that I’d only seen for a month after she was born and now she’s 13 months old. At the airport, my wife put her down and she was walking and the first time I saw her walk, I’ll never forget that in my life and I haven’t, said Rhodes.
Although it’s been decades since he was in Vietnam, Rhodes says his time overseas is still present in his mind.
“That time frame will never move as the calendar moves because of the memories that I have are so intense emotionally that I’ll never forget that day, those days or the men I was with,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes said he, and others he served with, now meet with those currently serving in the National Guard to help them transition from active combat to life here in the TriState.
(This story was originally published on July 23, 2019)