Although it happened more than a year ago, Janel Harrison still appreciates the plaque her son’s comrades gave her in his memory.
Staff Sgt. Larry Harrison, serving in B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, was killed in Vietnam Feb. 2, 1970, but it was not until September, 2012, that he was honored.
“Well, they presented a plaque with, all of them had signed it, and a rose, and a cap,” Janel Harrison said. “It was a dream come true that — I had always hoped someday I would meet those guys, but I never had any idea I’d get to, and I did, and it was wonderful.”
Being presented with the plaque came as a complete surprise for Harrison. She was attending the unit’s first reunion, held in Washington, D.C.
“I didn’t have a clue. It was known a good while before I was ever told, because [the] kids was afraid that I couldn’t handle it, really. But I did, and I was happy that I did,” Harrison said. “They didn’t present me with a medal. They did, it’s in memory of Larry, presented the 15th day of September, 2012, in recognition of Larry Harrison from the men who proudly served with him.”
Harrison added that although she was saddened by the event, and remembering the loss of her son, she was able to make it through the ceremony.
“I loved it. I really did. It was sad, but I tried to keep everything in check because of them. ... A couple of times I had to get off by myself, but I was proud of myself, and my daughters and his ex-wife. I was so proud of them,” she said.