Larry David Auerbach
of Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas
Friend, wife working to make sure Vietnam Veteran Larry
David Auerbach is part of Memory Day. Courtesy photo
5/25/2003 VETERANS IN
MEMORY: Corsicana native suffered effects of Agent Orange after
By DEANNA PAWLOWSKI/Daily Sun Staff
Larry David Auerbach was born
and raised in Corsicana. He and friend Wayne Adams grew up together in the same
neighborhood, playing and riding motorscooters.
Then they both went to Vietnam.
After serving their country in the longest
(1959-1975) and probably most controversial conflict in our history, they
returned home to indifference, neglect and sometimes contempt and disdain.
Larry Auerbach suffered from lymphoma,
squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, and Hodgkins disease. According to friend
Adams, it is documented by the Veterans Administration that his cancers were
caused by exposure to the defoliant known as Agent Orange used in the jungles of
Vietnam. He also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was caused
by psychological wounds inflicted in Vietnam which never healed.
"When you come back, it's just an ongoing
problem," Adams said. "There's a lot of guilt that adds to the depression. Guilt
over horrible things that happened over there -- and that God won't forgive
Larry Auerbach died April 12, 2003. He was
only 52 years old.
Auerbach had a dream that will now never
"He and his wife, Debbie, were going to
see the Wall this summer," Adams said. "He had always wanted to go, and was
finally planning the trip."
Adams and a group of veteran friends were
planning a trip to the Wall in November, and invited Larry and Debbie to join
them. Larry didn't want to wait that long.
But there is a way that Larry's name can
make it to the Wall.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has a
program called In Memory Day, which is a day set aside to honor those who died
prematurely because of their service during the Vietnam War. In Memory is a
unique memorial program which honors those who have died as a result of serving
in Vietnam, but whose names will never appear on the solemn granite panels.
A special ceremony In Memory is held near
the Wall on the third Monday of April of each year. Family and friends read the
names of each honoree aloud and place certificates, along with personal items,
at the panels which correspond to dates of service in Vietnam. These tributes
are later collected by the National Park Service, and preserved in the archives.
The name, photograph and biography of each honoree is added to the In Memory
Honorees are in two categories. The first
group is Vietnam veterans who have lost their lives to Agent Orange, the effects
of PTSD, illnesses contracted or wounds received in Vietnam. Soldiers who had
orders for Vietnam, but never made it due to accidents enroute to or from
Vietnam, are included in this group.
The second category honors civilians who
lost their lives in Vietnam, or returned home and died prematurely as a result
of emotional or physical illnesses related to their experience in Vietnam. These
may include State Department employees, other government staff, journalists, Red
Cross workers, and others.
Tim Easley, who is actively involved in
Veteran matters here in Navarro County, is working with Adams, and Auerbach's
wife, Debbie, to get his name In Memory.
"I can help people who want to participate
in this program," Easley said. "They need to have a copy of the death
certificate, along with a copy of the DD 214, and a photograph."
These are sent to the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Fund, 1023 Fifteenth Street, NW, Second Floor, Washington, D.C.
20005-2602. The website address is www.vvmf.org.
Larry David Auerbach's name will make it
to the Wall, even if he can't make it himself.
Larry D. Auerbach
Larry D. Auerbach, 52, of Corsicana passed away
Saturday, April 12, 2003 at Navarro Regional Hospital.
Visitation will 6 to 9 p.m. today at
Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.
Graveside services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at
Resthaven Memorial Park
with Rev. Daren Wood officiating.
Pallbearers will be Mike LaFon, Keith Webster,
Ryan Blue, Sam Page, Duane Onstott, Bryan Collier, Jerry Jones and Wayne
Mr. Auerbach was born Jan. 21, 1951 in Corsicana.
He was Vietnam Veteran, having
served in the U.S. Army 1st Calvary from 1968 to 1971. He was a truck
He was preceded in death by parents Donal and
Survivors include devoted companion and friend
Debbie Blue of Corsicana; sisters Jan Auerbach and husband Mike of
Dallas and Lyn Webster and husband Keith of Euless; and brothers Kenny
Auerbach of Garland and Jonny Auerbach of Dawson.
Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home