- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A Silver Star has been presented to a veteran nearly 50 years after his actions help saved nine lives in the Vietnam War.

WBIR-TV (https://on.wbir.com/YBjgY2) reports former Army Sgt. Larry F. Freeman of Pulaski, Virginia, received the honor Sunday during a ceremony held at the River Terrace Resort and Convention Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is the nation’s third highest military decoration for valor.

Freeman said Lt. Peter Schnizer, his platoon leader, nominated him in 1966 for the award, but it was never formally submitted due to an administrative oversight.

The award stems from actions Freeman took on July 19, 1966, when his platoon started the day with 33 soldiers and ended with only nine.

Lt. Col. Howard Lavy, who is retired from the service, said that Freeman was wounded, but still helped save the lives of those who survived.

“It’s just a real honor for me to know Larry and help get this award for him after 48 years,” Lavy said. “It brings great closure not only to Larry, but to the other gentleman in our platoon that are surviving because we’re finally able to see him recognized for what he did to help save not only us but other members of the platoon.”

Freeman said he didn’t view his actions as heroic.

“I don’t know what I (did) that was gallant,” Freeman said. “I (did) my job. I tried to save lives, and I did everything that I could do to get us out of the situation that we were in.”


Information from: WBIR-TV, https://www.wbir.com/

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