LARRY ALLEN LEWIS
January 21, 1945 – August 18, 1998
Larry was born into a military family. Larry’s father was a proud member of the United States Army during WWII, having served in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. He was awarded 2 Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart before his honorable discharge on June 22, 1945. Larry’s parents, Byron Clinton Lewis (1918-2007) and Marjorie Whitney Lewis (1924-1985) while married in 1942, waited to bring their only child into this life until Byron returned safely from the war. Larry’s father was honorably discharged five months after he was born.
Larry graduated Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City with the Class of 1963. He worked for his father who owned several businesses including a machine shop. He worked steadfastly until his Uncle Sam decided his services were more urgently needed elsewhere. So, he traded his machine tools for a machine gun and was drafted into the Army on August 4, 1969 to head off to war.
Many draftees resented service, but not Larry. Instead of “hiding” in an effort to minimize his risk, he chose to join the Army Rangers of K Co., 75th (Ranger) Infantry who were attached to the “Famous Fighting Fourth”, the 4th Infantry Division, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It was an assignment that was strictly voluntary, and deemed one of the most hazardous in Vietnam. Larry served on several different Ranger Teams, distinguishing himself on each one. He is remembered as a courageous warrior who rather than sit on the sidelines, chose to get in the fight – a family tradition. On July 13, 1970 Larry successfully completed his last mission, with Ranger Team R-13 comprised of himself, TL SGT Poehlman, ATL PFC Phillips and PFC Jones into the Kon Giong region of the Central Highlands. He was back in “the world” and honorably discharged from the Army only 12 days later on July 25, 1970. Larry earned his Combat Infantryman’s Badge as well as numerous other awards and decorations.
While many might believe the axiom of “never volunteer”, Larry, as do all Rangers, believe that regardless of whatever else their lives had in store, the decision to join the Rangers was easily the best decision they made. The reward of serving on a Ranger team is membership in an elite brotherhood of men that cannot be purchased, it can only be earned with the risk of one’s life. To live in the honored memories of brother Rangers is a reward few will ever know. We honor Larry and thank him for his courage.
After his discharge, Larry married and fathered 3 children with his wife. Two daughters, Shea Michelle Lewis-Luther, Kelly Sue Lewis Megilligan-Baker and a son Christopher Neal Lewis Megilligan
Larry died at home, in Oklahoma City on August 18th, 1998 at age 53. He was buried in the family plot in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Oklahoma City, OK.
RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!