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This is one of those pages I wish I didn't have to welcome you to. And I've decided not to use any graphics on these page. I want nothing to distract from the message of this page. We have a need for this page. We must keep the public informed that we have sons, daughters, husbands, and fathers still missing or who are prisoners of war. My prayer is that everyone who reads this will contact their Senators and Congressmen and women and our President. Let them know we want something done to bring these people home. To find an e-mail address for elected officals for your area go here: OJC


I was very blessed. My Father came home from World War II. My brother came home from Vietnam. My husband because of health didn't have to serve. My son was in the Air Force but remained state side. But this young man and his family weren't as fortunate. Please take a moment and read his story.


Name: Larry Don Welsh
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit:
Date of Birth: 16 June 1947
Home City of Record: Kansas City KS
Date of Loss: 07 January 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 112642N 1060200E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Vehicle: Ground
Refno: 1356
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.


SYNOPSIS: Larry Welsh is the oldest of four children born to William and Rosemary Welsh of Kansas City, Kansas. He has one brother and two sisters.

Larry grew up in Kansas City on a small acreage on the west side of the city, and enjoyed working with the calves, pigs, chickens and especially horses. He was a Boy Scout and earned the God and Country award, and is a Life Scout. He is a Christian and a member of Sunset Hills Christian Church. Before going into the Army, he worked as a switchman for Santa Fe Railroad. He entered the service in January 1968 and was sent to Vietnam in December 1968 as a platoon sergeant.

Larry's platoon was engaged in a firefight with the Viet Cong on January 7, 1969 northwest of Tay Ninh City, Tay Ninh Province, about 8 miles from the border of South Vietnam and Cambodia. Larry, slightly injured by fragmentation wounds, removed his shirt and told another wounded soldier that he was going for help. The soldier then observed Welsh walk down a path toward an area where artillery shells were falling.

Returning to the battle scene the next day, searchers found one man dead and a wounded man hiding in a hollow log. The wounded man told the searchers what he knew about Larry. The search team found Welsh's eyeglasses, wallet, shirt and the watch with the silver chain wristband that he wore, but Larry was not seen again. He was the only man unaccounted for in Vietnam on that day.

Larry's parents have written letters and sent packages over the years, but they have been returned unopened. They say, "We always felt that Larry was taken prisoner by the Viet Cong. The last time anybody saw him, he was alive."

Larry's young wife has since remarried, and his parents do what they can to bury their sorrow and uncertainty. Over the years, they have, to their complete frustration, learned there is little they can do. One cannot simply travel to Vietnam to try and find someone the Vietnamese say does not exist. The U.S. seems to place a low priority on the return of the missing from Vietnam.

Since the war ended, however the U.S. Government has conducted over "250,000 interviews" and pored over "several million documents" relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Many authorities, including a former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, have concluded that many Americans are still alive in captivity today.

Whether Larry Welsh is among them is unknown. Santa Fe Railway is still holding his job. Even though many have forgotten, Larry's friends and family have not. It's time we brought our men home.


My friend Roni also has a POW/MIA page. Please visit her site.


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