Local Vietnam Veterans to honor one of their own on Nov. 11

October 29, 2011
Contact: David Skocik

On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at 10 a.m., members of Kent Co. Chap. 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, will honor the memory of one of their own at the Kent Co. Vietnam memorial on S. Little Creek Rd., Dover.

Larry Fletcher Potts

Lt. Larry Fletcher Potts

Marine 1st Lt. Larry Potts grew up in Smyrna. In 1972 he and Air Force 1st Lt. Bruce Walker were shot down while taking part in the rescue attempt of a downed Air Force pilot in Vietnam.

The mission involved the search for Air Force Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton, a missile expert shot down over enemy territory while on a reconnaissance mission.

The search for BAT 21, the aircraft’s call sign, was a mission in which six rescuers would lose their lives before Col. Hambleton was rescued. Their heroism and tenacity resulted in a book and a movie, both of which incorporated BAT 21 in their titles. The 1988 movie starred Gene Hackman and Danny Glover.

Vocalist Lori Christiansen will sing the National Anthem. Brooke Tucker, the 12-year-old granddaughter of Chap. 850 member David Dill, will play Taps at the ceremony.

Brooke, a 7th grade saxophone player in her school band at W.T. Chipman Middle School in Harrington, heard Taps on a television program and asked her grandfather about the haunting melody. She borrowed a trumpet, learned to play the notes and asked her grandfather if she could perform at the ceremony. Her offer was immediately accepted by Chap. 850 President Joe Startt Jr.

“We were honored to accommodate her, and look forward to her debut,” said Mr. Startt. “Larry Potts put himself directly in harm’s way to save the life of another. I’m certain he would be honored to have this young lady reaching out to honor him.”

In addition to area Vietnam veterans, attendees will include members of the Potts family, elected officials and the public. State VVA Council President Paul Davis will also attend and make remarks.

Dave Skocik, Chap. 850 member and newly-elected president of the Delaware Veterans Coalition, will serve as emcee.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend.


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