Memorial helps town celebrate recently fallen veteran

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RUSSELLVILLE - The unveiling of the Blue Star Memorial Friday allowed the residents of a small Missouri town another chance to celebrate the service of a recently fallen veteran.

Russellville's Larry Crocker passed away in late September. Crocker enlisted in the Air Force in 1969 and was discharged due to medical reasons in 1981.


(Larry Crocker)

According to Jeremy Amick, a public affairs officer with the Silver Stars Families of America, Crocker was very active in the community in the time after his service.

"[Crocker] had dedicated a lot of his time, and a lot of his money to support this community taking on various projects," Amick said.

In addition to Crocker, the dedication program honored Walter Lehman, who went missing in action shortly before the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and never returned.

Student groups at Russellville High School raised the money required to build the memorial.

"The students did everything," Amick said. "This was all them."

The event also celebrated the service of living veterans like David Larimore. Larimore served in the Marines.

Larimore's son Michael, who currently serves in the Air Force, points to David as a source of inspiration to serve.

"His work ethic, his devotion, his commitment to duty, he even helped come up here and put up the sign on his free time to help get it ready for today's event," Michael Larimore said. "He's been an inspiration to me."

Larimore also said while he is still focused on his active duty, he's excited for when he can retire and attend Veteran's Day events as a veteran.