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Local Vietnam vet observes 50th anniversary of deployment

With the country celebrating National Vietnam War Veterans Day March 29, one local veteran celebrated with his family and one special visitor on March 30.

Jerry Larsen, who owns the Tea B&G Milky Way with his business partner Diane Larsen, got together with his family to celebrate his 50-year anniversary of being sent to Vietnam April 1. His family surprised him by contacting his old Army buddy Pat Ellingson and having him fly in to Sioux Falls to meet him.

“I was surprised. The family was going to have a dinner together. I was surprised an old Army buddy of mine was there also. They arranged it so he could be there. He winters in Florida, but they contacted him to fly back for the dinner,” Larsen said.

The two met 50 years ago after both being in basic training at the same base. They got acquainted when they ended up in the same company in Fort Rucker, Ala. Then they were both stationed together in the same company and platoon in Vietnam. When they came back, they were in Kansas together before being discharged.

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