By Kevin Wood/NEMS Daily Journal
You can look at his photo and tell he was young. Most Marines held a tight, stern face for their official Marine Corps photo. Not Private First Class Larry Page, though. He smiled ever so slightly for his photo, proof of the pride he had in wearing the Marine uniform. Larry Lee Page was a fresh faced soldier from New Albany, Mississippi. He was tall and lean, about 6′ 3″ tall with curly blond hair when it wasn’t in a military issue buzzcut. He loved the Marines and the Marines he served with loved him.
PFC Page’s platoon was charged with providing security to a large village called Binh Nghia (pronounced Bin-Niyah). The Viet Cong, the enemy of the South Vietnamese people and the United States, had been terrorizing the population in the village for some time. Securing the village during the day was a fairly easy task. It was the night time that was difficult. Each night, half of the soldiers in the village would go into the darkness of the jungle and set up a night time watch, listening in the dark for the sounds of footsteps from the enemy.
On the night of June 21, 1966 Larry Page was one of the eight on watch. He had found a tall coconut tree to lean against. The other Marines on patrol were jealous. The night went quietly, almost too quietly, when a sudden burst of gunfire fell all around. The platoon sergeant shouted, “Get down!” Almost as suddenly as it had started it ended.
One by one the platoon sergeant called out his men’s names, asking them to answer back. One by one they answered back. When he called out, “Page… Page answer me”, no answer came. The call to get down had come too late for the fresh faced soldier from Mississippi. PFC Larry Page had been shot in the upper abdomen a few minutes before midnight on June 21. He would die two hours later in the early hours of June 22.
Read more at www.40daysofhonor.com