The Silver Star
Larry A. Poole was born 20 January 1942 in Kennett, Missouri. He attended Clarkton High School, Clarkton, Missouri where served as student body president his senior year, and graduated in 1960. By 1966, he had lettered in baseball, received a B.S. in business administration/accounting from Arkansas State University, and was drafted into the U.S. Army that spring. In March of 1967, he received a commission as a second lieutenant and began serving as a Central Accounting Officer at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He deployed to South Vietnam in October 1967. There he joined the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division as a platoon leader in C Company. They helped defend Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive, after which he was promoted to First Lieutenant. Through his many engagements with the enemy, he never lost a soldier. In October 1968, his last assignment was at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he served as the Executive Officer of an Advanced Infantry Training Company. He was honorably discharged in May 1969. Since 1981, he has worked for Petrolog International, Inc., a service company in the oil and gas industry. Lieutenant Poole's awards and honors include the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Unit Award.
On 27 August 1968, First Lieutenant Poole distinguished himself through exceptionally valorous action while serving as a Platoon Leader with Co. C, 2" Battalion, 39th Infantry, on a reconnaissance in force mission in Long An Province, Republic of Vietnam. After a breakdown in radio communications during an engagement with a large enemy force, Lieutenant Poole crawled more than 50 meters across a fire swept rice paddy to establish contact with his commanding officer. Later in the action, Lieutenant Poole personally assaulted an enemy bunker, firing through the doorway of an emplacement. A Viet Cong soldier rushed out of the bunker with a weapon pointed at his chest. Before the enemy could fire the weapon, Poole wrestled it away and employed it against his attacker. First Lieutenant Poole's extraordinary heroism in close combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 9th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.