A Lasting Tribute

The sacrifices of over 58,000 Americans are honored at the Vietnam Memorial. But not all who gave their lives defending our freedom died on the battlefield. The names of some who succumbed to their wounds decades after returning home has been missing. Watch and learn how Todd Young stepped up for one hero.

The sacrifices of over 58,000 Americans are honored at the Vietnam Memorial. But not all who gave their lives defending our freedom died on the battlefield. The names of some who succumbed to their wounds decades after returning home has been missing. Watch and learn how Todd Young stepped up for one hero.

As David "Larry" Deckard drove an armored personnel carrier through the jungle of Vietnam on March 24, 1969, a Viet Cong soldier stepped out from the brush and fired a rocket directly into the side of his vehicle. Everyone else on board died that day. Larry was left paralyzed from the chest down, and his body would be filled with shrapnel and scar tissue for the rest of his life—but he managed to survive.

Larry came back home to Indiana and adapted to his new life in a wheelchair. He lived another 37 years after the attack, but complications from scar tissue and shrapnel in his lungs ultimately took his life in 2006.

After Larry died, his family—led by his brother, Virgil—wanted to make sure he was honored on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Larry died as a result of the rocket attack, and he had always hoped his name would join the names of his friends who died that day. After years of fruitless effort, Virgil contacted Todd Young just weeks into the Congressman's first term in 2011. Young championed the Deckard's cause and a year later on Memorial Day 2012, David Larry Deckard's name was added to the Vietnam Wall.

As another way to honor Larry's sacrifice, Virgil Deckard wanted to tell the story of how his brother died and why his name was added to the Wall.