By Danielle Gregory , Tinker Public Affairs
/ Published November 06, 2008
Private First Class Larry Smith, left, with his platoon leader, Lt. Ward, calling in an artillery fire. Private Smith became a war-seasoned military man on only his second day in Vietnam. When an ambush turned a routine patrol into a blaze of bullets and explosions, the young Marine looked to the platoon sergeant who had promised to guide him, only to see him killed. Private Smith would survive the war with two Purple Hearts, even though medical personnel frantically working on him after a mine explosion pronounced he would die from his wounds.
Larry Smith prepares a part before photographing it in the Metallurgical Sciences Laboratory in Bldg. 3001. The photographer helps Tinker engineers by documenting specifics of new or failed components. During the Vietnam War, Mr. Smith was a private first class with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, earning two Purple Heart medals. (Air Force photo/Margo Wright)