WELSH, LARRY DON

Name: Larry Don Welsh
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit:
Date of Birth: 16 Jun 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.

REMARKS:

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.