Vietnam War Veteran Larry Liss Honored with Silver Star Medal for Heroic Rescue Mission

Houlahan Honors Local VeteranHoulahan presents a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to the Liss Family (L to R: Rep. Houlahan, Col. Helgeson, Larry Liss, Art Liss) /Submitted Image

WAYNE, PA — In an emotionally charged ceremony at Valley Forge Military Academy and College, Vietnam War veteran Lawrence (Larry) Liss was presented with the Silver Star Medal, the third-highest military decoration for valor. The honor comes more than half a century after Liss flew his unarmed helicopter into intense combat six times to rescue fellow soldiers pinned down by enemy forces at Cau Song Be during the Vietnam War.

Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and General Daniel Hokanson, the 29th Chief of the National Guard Bureau, were among those who presented the prestigious award to Liss. The recognition ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries, including representatives from Senator Bob Casey’s and Senator John Fetterman’s offices, Chester County Commissioners Josh Maxwell and Marian Moskowitz, Pennsylvania Adjutant General MG Mark Schindler, former Pennsylvania Adjutant General MG Wesley Craig (Ret.), and National Commander of Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Col. Nelson Mellitz (Ret.).

“Helping present Larry with the Silver Star has been a highlight of my time as a Congress member and veteran,” said Houlahan. “Let there be no doubt about what happened that fateful date 56 years ago – Larry went above and beyond the call of duty, and I’m thankful he finally received the recognition he deserves.”

The quest for this recognition began in earnest when Representative Houlahan met with Liss shortly after she took office in January 2019. Liss explained that his brother, Art, had compiled an application on his behalf to be considered for an upgrade to the Medal of Honor.

Through the joint efforts of Senator Casey’s and Representative Houlahan’s constituent services, a concerted push began in April 2019 to recognize Larry’s gallantry in action. Despite several rejections for the Medal of Honor, Representative Houlahan’s office started a case in May 2022 for Larry’s heroism to be upgraded to a Silver Star.

The Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) formally upgraded Liss’s Distinguished Flying Cross medal to a Silver Star on January 11, 2024, marking a significant milestone in his journey for recognition.

“Captain Larry M. Liss is a patriot whose bravery helped save the lives of more than 80 troops during the Vietnam War,” said Senator Casey. “I am proud to have worked with the Liss family and Representative Houlahan to ensure Captain Liss receives this high honor for his valor. Pennsylvania and our Nation owe him a debt of gratitude.”

The awarding of the Silver Star to Liss not only honors his heroic actions but also serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by many during the Vietnam War. It underscores the importance of recognizing and commemorating the bravery of those who put their lives on the line for their fellow soldiers and their country.

For veterans, the act of honoring one of their own with such a prestigious award can bring a sense of closure, recognition, and respect for the bravery that was often overlooked or forgotten in the turbulent aftermath of the Vietnam War. For Liss, the recognition is not an end, but, as Representative Houlahan noted, “the beginning of a legacy for the Liss family.”

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