by Brenda Nelson November. 11, 2016 1601 views


Your dad/"G-Dad" was accepted into the Navy's Reserve Officer Candidate (ROC) program while he was still in college in 1967, spending his first summer of training at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  After we were married in June of 1969, he reported to Newport, RI, where we could hardly afford to live!  A one-room/no-bath apartment was about $300 a month – so we moved 10 miles out of town to Portsmouth, RI, where we got a 2-room place to stay for $200, which was $40 more than his monthly pay check!  So we sold my car so I could afford to be there in an apartment all by myself all week!  He stayed on base 6 days and I only got to see him on Wednesday afternoon at the base – but he got to come home on Saturday nights (where I made spaghetti every week!).  After receiving his commission as an Ensign, he got new orders to be in Norfolk, VA in four days! 

He got me settled in another tiny apartment, then within the month, he was aboard the USS Cambria and headed across the Mediterranean Sea for six months, while I stayed in VA and worked at a bank (Larry's chosen profession).  When he returned home, they decommissioned his ship and gave him orders to Vietnam!  So, we moved all our worldly possessions (our clothes, his guitar, our golf clubs, a floor lamp, and a small TV set) to the other side of the country - Coronado, CA!

Now a Lt JG, he went through the survival school where the Navy Seals train in Coronado, plus he spent three months in language school, learning to speak Vietnamese, because he would be living in a Vietnamese village for a year with only two other Americans!  They were “coastal group advisers” to the Vietnamese navy's junk-boat force.  During his year there, he played trombone in the Vung Tau village band, learned to cook for himself, caught hepatitis, and was promoted to the rank of LT.  In Jan of 1972, he came home to AR, picked me up, and we then went back to Oakland, CA for him to be released from the Navy, where he received the Navy Commendation Medal for his service in Vietnam.

The US flag still makes him teary-eyed and proud to have served his country!  I have always been so thankful that God returned him to me - he's my hero and my favorite veteran.

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Joe 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Larry for your patriotism and service to Our Country. Thanks, Brenda for sharing these memories.

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson Replied to Joe 4 years, 7 months ago

I appreciate your visit, Joe - this was a special post for me.

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Kara Bana 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks so much for sharing your Larry's story with us. He's had quite the career, and that bright smile still continues I see. :-D
Lest we forget on this Remembrance Day.

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 years, 7 months ago

What a guy! Hats off to you Larry! I'm proud to know you & your lovely wife!
Great story & camera work, Brenda!!!

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Jay, for being a friend!

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Brenda Nelson 4 years, 7 months ago

The pleasure is all mine, Sis!

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 4 years, 7 months ago

Nothing but praise................a superb series.

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson Replied to Gillian Parsons 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, BB!

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 years, 7 months ago

What an incredible and fulfilling life you two have. You deserve to be happy.

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson Replied to Antonio Gil 4 years, 7 months ago

Such a precious comment, A! Thanks - we are happy and blessed!

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
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