For the second time in since March, a troop medical clinic has been renamed to honor of a fallen Vietnam War hero.
On Friday officials with Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital and Fort Polk held a special memorialization ceremony in honor of SP4Larry Joseph Lancon, from New Iberia, Louisiana.
Lancon was a combat medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam when he was killed in action on April 27, 1970. He was just 19 years old.
During combat operations in Phuoc Long Province Lancon was accompanying a
friendly force up a steep, densely vegetated hill when the lead element came under an intense volley of fire from a well-entrenched enemy force.
While under enemy fire he skillfully applied first aid to the soldier’s wounds and assisted him to a rear position.
He then returned to the forward area of contact to
treat two comrades who had been seriously wounded.
Lancon was seriously wounded by enemy fire as he treated the two casualties. He continued to treat his comrades and assist them to safety until he collapsed.
For his selfless actions, Lancon was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for
extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.
In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, Lancon was also awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Medic Badge. Lancon was also inducted into the State of Louisiana Military Hall of Fame in Abbeville, Louisiana.
In the company of his fellow high school graduates the Soldier Centered Medical Home Clinic has been renamed The Lancon Soldier Centered Medical Home. Unfortunately, there was none of Lancon’s family in attendance.
Classmate Ronnie Bodin knew Lancon from the time they were in elementary school until he left for Vietnam. He remembers Lancon as being tough as nails.
Bodin recalls that Lancon enlisted in the Army three months before he graduated from high school. As soon as he graduated, Lancon was sent to basic training. After he finished his training Lancon married his high school sweetheart, Barbara O’Bryan.
Two weeks later he was shipped out to Vietnam, “and he never came back” Bodin said choking back tears.
Bodin said that just a few weeks ago when he heard the clinic on Fort Polk was being renamed in honor of Lancon he had to be present.
“I couldn’t believe that somebody was finally going to do something for him. He deserves it. He gave everything” Bodin said.
Ron Desmoreaux also started elementary school with Lancon. Together they started playing football in junior high school where Desmoreaux was the quarterback and Lancon was his center.
He remembers Lancon as a very sweet and talented guy who was willing to help anyone.
“You couldn’t help but like him. All he wanted to do was help anybody and everyone. In Vietnam he did his job and kept doing it until he collapsed, that’s the kind of guy he was” Desmoreaux said.
In all, about twenty classmates attended the ceremony to honor Lancon for his service and sacrifice.
SP4 Lancon’s extraordinary heroism and dedication to duty cost him his life. He knew going into the war the type of duty he would face.
Fort Polk and JRTC Commander, Brigadier General Patrick Frank said the the BJACH team did a great honor to find what (Lancon) did with his own personal example of courage.
“He will inspire us each and every day that we see patriot soldiers in here. They will know that this medical facility is named after a true hero” Frank said.