Local Vietnam vet cherishes honor flight experience - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Local Vietnam vet cherishes honor flight experience

Posted: Updated:
BERLIN CENTER, Ohio -

For 10 years, Honor Flight Columbus has been taking veterans to Washington D.C. to visit war memorials at no cost to them. Priority is given to World War II veterans and other veterans with terminal illness. 

Recently, there was a very unique honor flight for only Vietnam veterans with purple hearts. Berlin Center's Larry Truitt was on that flight.

Truitt was drafted into the Army in 1966. He found himself in Vietnam one year later. 

"First helicopter ride I had, I had three guys get shot on," said Truitt.

Eventually, Truitt, who was assigned to the first cavalry division, was shot, not once but twice. The first time, three rounds of ammunition he was carrying blew apart. Shrapnel pierced his body in several places. Truitt credits a small Bible in his chest pocket for saving his life.

"The top edge of it was shredded, but it went clear through the Bible, so it was enough, probably would have had a lot more metal in my chest," he said.

Thanks to his faith, Truitt survived Vietnam and received two purple hearts for his bravery.

Like many Vietnam vets though, Truitt was never given a hero’s welcome home. That all changed last month.

"All the signs and all the work they put into it, it was really wonderful," said Truitt.

Family and friends decided to give Truitt a special surprise party after he returned home from the very first Ohio Honor Flight for Vietnam veterans with purple hearts.

"Real privileged," he said.  It was an emotional trip for Truitt.

From his time at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, to mail call on the flight home; he received two big envelopes with cards and letters thanking him for his service. It took him five hours to read.

"It was really something. And some of the letters are really; you get emotional about them because they're just young kids and stuff," he said fighting back tears.

To cap it off, 2,000 people were at the Columbus airport to welcome the hero's home.

"Just finally great that they recognized us. Something we never got when we come back from Vietnam," said Truitt.

It was an overwhelming experience and long overdue for one of our Valley's Bravest.

"For a lifetime I'm going to remember this."

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

    Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

    Monday, August 20 2018 10:07 PM EDT2018-08-21 02:07:30 GMT
    Authorities in South Carolina say a woman has been attacked and killed by an alligator as she walked her dog near a lagoon.More >>
    Authorities in South Carolina say a woman has been attacked and killed by an alligator as she walked her dog near a lagoon.More >>
  • Pope: No effort spared to fight abuse, but offers no details

    Pope: No effort spared to fight abuse, but offers no details

    Monday, August 20 2018 10:07 PM EDT2018-08-21 02:07:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018.
    Pope Francis has issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and cover-up and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of...More >>
    Pope Francis has issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and cover-up and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.More >>
  • Colorado man charged with murder says wife killed daughters

    Colorado man charged with murder says wife killed daughters

    Monday, August 20 2018 10:06 PM EDT2018-08-21 02:06:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski). A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband, Chri...(AP Photo/David Zalubowski). A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband, Chri...
    Prosecutors have charged a Colorado man with murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters.More >>
    Prosecutors have charged a Colorado man with murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • St. Elizabeth’s Boardman considering maternity services expansion

    St. Elizabeth’s Boardman considering maternity services expansion

    Monday, August 20 2018 10:15 PM EDT2018-08-21 02:15:47 GMT

    Within the next month, St. Elizabeth’s Boardman campus will be the only dedicated labor and delivery unit in Mahoning County. 

    More >>

    Within the next month, St. Elizabeth’s Boardman campus will be the only dedicated labor and delivery unit in Mahoning County. 

    More >>
  • Niles Police Department adds new Ford F-150 Police Responder

    Niles Police Department adds new Ford F-150 Police Responder

    Monday, August 20 2018 10:05 PM EDT2018-08-21 02:05:01 GMT

    The Niles Police Department added something to their station on Monday, and it's not something you see every day. According to Niles police, a new 2018 Ford F-150 POlice Responder vehicle has been put into service. The departments Facebook page says that the truck features a subdued graphics package, and a locking rear storage area to store equipment in, such as a ballistic shield that would normally have to be kept at the station.  The new Ford Police Responder has been speci...

    More >>

    The Niles Police Department added something to their station on Monday, and it's not something you see every day. According to Niles police, a new 2018 Ford F-150 POlice Responder vehicle has been put into service. The departments Facebook page says that the truck features a subdued graphics package, and a locking rear storage area to store equipment in, such as a ballistic shield that would normally have to be kept at the station.  The new Ford Police Responder has been speci...

    More >>
  • Eagles build nest on Jackson Township light post

    Monday, August 20 2018 9:52 PM EDT2018-08-21 01:52:19 GMT
    As the late summer sun sparkles across the Meander Reservoir, and travelers pass to and fro along the Ohio Turnpike, there are eagle eyes keeping watch over it all - literally. High up on an ODOT light post, the eagles nest is easy to miss if you're passing through, despite its size. "She started early in the spring you could see a little material up there, and boy it wasn't too long before she had quite a little nest going," says Jackson Township Police Chief Greg Taillon...More >>
    As the late summer sun sparkles across the Meander Reservoir, and travelers pass to and fro along the Ohio Turnpike, there are eagle eyes keeping watch over it all - literally. High up on an ODOT light post, the eagles nest is easy to miss if you're passing through, despite its size. "She started early in the spring you could see a little material up there, and boy it wasn't too long before she had quite a little nest going," says Jackson Township Police Chief Greg Taillon...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms