I, Commander Larry Shaver, am just another American who loves this Great Nation of ours. I know we owe our Military Veterans a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. That debt started with those brave men who gave everything they had to give this nation life. That debt has continued to grow with each passing day our brave men and women wear the US Military Uniform. We American Citizens must forever make sure our Veterans are never again treated the way we Vietnam Vets were treated. Vietnam Vets like myself have dedicated our lives to making sure that does not happen again.
Commander Larry Shaver enlisted in the US Marine Corps in November 1964, and completed 12 weeks of Basic Training at USMCRD Paris Island, SC. and 4 weeks of Advanced Infantry Training at Camp LeJeune, NC. His first duty assignment was Camp Hansen Marine Corps Base on the Island of Okinawa, which was the home of the 9th Marine Regiment. Soon after his arrival, and while he was going to school to learn how to drive trucks, one of our Battalions, the 1st, or as he referred to them 1/9 (Later called; “The Walking Dead”, was sent into South Vietnam to protect our interests there. In late May 1965 his outfit, 2/9 was loaded onto ships and sent to DaNang, S. Vietnam because our Air Force Base there was under attack by the Rebel Group Calling themselves The Viet Cong. The rest of that war is history.
After serving nearly a year in Vietnam Commander Larry Shaver was sent back to Camp LeJeune, NC where he trained New Marines on how to serve in Vietnam operating trucks transporting Troops, Food, Ordinance and other Supplies.
When he left the Marines he went to School at the GM Training Center located near Pittsburgh, PA where he learned the fine art of Factory Auto Mechanics. After Graduation he worked for a while with a GM Dealership in his home town of Fairmont, WV, but pay was small and coming from a poor family wanted more out of life. So on a sunny day in June 1967 his best friend Osul Fry packed up his old 59 Chev and headed for the big city of Chicago. He had in the mean time been transferred to a ready reserve unit in Canonsberg, PA, but all he had to do was keep them informed of his where-a-boughs, which he did.
After blowing up his old Chev in Valparaiso, IN, some 75 miles from where my Step-Brother lived and calling him to come and rescue them they arrived in Chicago. That was a Friday as he remembers and after a few hours of job hunting on Saturday they started new jobs Monday morning at nearly twice what we had been making in WV.
To shorten up a long story; his buddy got drafted a couple of weeks later, he met a Lady with three small children, got married in 1969. Became a Semi-Truck Driver, fathered a Daughter a couple of years later, retired driving in 2001, started a computer business in 2002 which he still operates called Maplebrook Computer Services.
In 1991 when his step-son returned from the first gulf war he joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars and after he retired became very active with them. He holds the State of IL Command of the 18th District. In June of 2012 he will assume his new position as State Public Relations Director of the Department of Illinois VFW.
In 2009 he founded the non-profit corporation; American Veterans Helping Veterans, Inc. which is a 501(c)19 non-profit company dedicated to helping Veterans and their families, as well as active duty military and their families in time of true need. AVHV, as they are known, is currently working with the Bolingbrook, IL VFW Post #5917 and Midwest Hyperbaric and Wellness; with a study on the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on closed head wounds suffered by our military personal. This head trauma in commonly called “Traumatic Brain Injury” (TBI).