Retired Navy Rear Admiral Honored at Freedom Village for Service in Vietnam War

Navy Rear Admiral Larry ChambersSubmitted Image

WEST BRANDYWINE, PAFreedom Village at Brandywine residents recently heard from retired Navy Rear Admiral Larry Chambers about his time in the Navy, followed by a lunch at the Freedom Village campus.

Chambers is a resident of Freedom Plaza located in Sun City Center, Fla., which is a sister community of Freedom Village. The two communities worked closely together to bring Chambers to Pennsylvania for residents to hear about his Naval experience and ensure he was appropriately honored for his service.

Following the presentation and lunch, Chambers and Freedom Village residents visited the Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge Park, where Chambers was surprised with a plaque on the Veterans Wall of Honor.

“It means the world to me to receive this prestigious honor,” said Chambers. “Looking back at my time while serving, there were extreme highs and lows, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My experience made me into the man I am today and introduced me to the great community of veterans throughout our great nation, like this one at Freedom Village.”

“Our country wouldn’t be what it is today without our American heroes,” said Danielle Geyer, executive director at Freedom Village. “It was a pleasure to surprise Larry with a plaque on the Veterans Wall of Honor. It serves as just a small token for his selfless and unwavering commitment to our nation.”

Chambers is an accomplished veteran, starting with his efforts in The Vietnam War. On April 29, 1975, as commanding officer of the USS Midway and the first African American to do so, Chambers helped rescue thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon. On April 30, he directed his crew of 3,000 seamen to corral the estimated 4,000 people who had been airlifted from Saigon to the ship, ensuring they were examined, fed and safely transported to other nearby carriers if needed.

Chambers entered the Naval Academy in 1948, becoming only the school’s third African-American midshipman, and then only the second to graduate from the Naval Academy in 1952.

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