Larry is pictured with wife, Maria, in August 2004
Four days after graduation I enlisted in the Air Force which afforded me opportunities and adventures that I had never dreamed of. I was able to see the world by being stationed in seven different locations in the US (Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Montana, and 3 locations in California) and in seven foreign countries ( Italy, Yemen, The Congo, Libya, Laos, Thailand, and Viet Nam). I have over 3,000 hours as a crew member of cargo aircraft which enabled me to travel to and work on all seven of the worlds continents. Two of my foreign assignments required me to become fluent in the local language so I learned Arabic and the language of the Hmong peoples of Laos.
While in the military I received 27 awards and decorations which included three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, and a Silver Star. After my second tour in Southeast Asia I was assigned to the White House where I had the honor of participating in meetings chaired by the President. I was then assigned to a Naval Base in the California desert to train air cargo crew members in the aerial delivery practices necessary in a combat situation and to assist the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the testing of the parachute recovery systems for the Apollo Space Capsule.
While working for NASA I met the beautiful Maria Laseter who was a secretary for NASA and after a short courtship we were married. We have now been married 41 years and while never being blessed with children we have been blessed with a boy and a girl we helped raise who consider us their parents.
After retiring from the military I obtained employment as the Business Manager of a California School District. That was a pleasant job but there was no excitement in it so after three years I resigned and Maria and I took to the road in our Motor Home to see the parts of the US we had not seen. That took us 4 years and then we decided to settle down in Branson, Missouri.
Maria and I built a home overlooking Table Rock Lake doing all the work ourselves. When we were finished she made me promise that never again would we do that. After we finished the house I obtained the position of Operations and Maintenance Manager of the Lawrence Welk Resort. The resort had a 2400 seat theater, a 400 seat restaurant, and a 168 room hotel so I stayed busy 7 days a week. That was a very exciting and rewarding job which I truly enjoyed.
In 2000 Maria and I decided it was time to retire so we moved to Enid to care for my 84 year old Mother. She passed away in 2004 and we once again moved, this time to Yuma, Arizona where we had a contractor build us a house. When we are not at our Yuma house we are at our condo in Imperial, California so we can be close to Maria’s family.
In 1989 I had became involved in a West Texas oil field as a working interest owner and in two small West Texas ranches. Those ventures continue to occupy a great deal of my time but there is one last accomplishment I hope to achieve in the near future. I am starting to document with pictures and official papers my accomplishments and adventures.