• Branch: Army
  • Hometown/City: LYNCHBURG, VA
  • Date of Birth: 09-22-1938
  • Date of Death: 03-15-1964
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Unit:
  • Port/Base:

Share Your Hero

Submit Profile Image


Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.

  • Dad Your grandkids are growing up to be warriors and serve their country. Kenneth "Colin" is a Marine, Stell starts as a Rat this Fall at VMI on a Marine Scholarship and McKeely wants to be an Army Nurse and is applying for Army Nurse Corps scholarships.

    Look over them Dad as the world is becoming a crazy place and I fear they will be the next "Greatest" generation.

    I hobble along with Parkinson's and do my best to watch over your youngest grandchild - Ian. He loves you so much!
    Please share a holiday memory of your parent (i.e. birthday, religious holiday, vacation).
    He put sparklers in the snow for me on my 4th Birthday just before he left for Vietnam.
    How has the loss of your parent impacted your family?
    I looked for every chance I could to be a good Father and always be there for my kids. My father did not get a vote in not being there but I did.
    Please share a funny story about your parent.
    He split his pants making a snow fort for me the day before he left for Vietnam. And only when I was well into my 30's did my Mother tell me he stole the mascot from VMI (he was VPI) and the mascot died. My father killed Moe!
    Tell us about your experience as a military child (i.e. duty stations, friendships, etc.).
    I barely remember it I was so small - but I remember getting lost at the Ft Knox halloween Costume parade as a tyke :)
    What did you like to do with your parent?
    Take naps.
    What did you love most about your parent?
    He has always looked over me from above.
    What did your parent enjoy most about serving in the military?
    He loved flying. He so wanted to live up to his Father, Papa, and wanted to equal his legacy.
    What do you miss most about your parent?
    That he never met his grandchildren.
    What has been the greatest challenge since the loss of your parent?
    When I walked through the Arch the day I graduated from VMI and my two roommates walked with their Dads and I was alone. That is when I knew what I had missed.
    What message would you like to share with families with a loved one still serving in the military?
    Thank you. Please remember so many of appreciate all you do.
    What message would you like to share with other Gold Star families?
    You are not alone. Ever.
    What was your parent’s relationship like with you?
    I barely remember him.

    Laron Shannon, Child