Earlier this year I was honored to meet a man whose career of military service was notable for more reasons than just the dedication to our nation’s well being that it exemplified. Long-time Fairborn resident Larry Litten not only served in our United States Air Force for over 20 years, but was joined in that service by all six of his brothers, who together compiled a combined service record of an incredible 133 years!
Their story is notable in the annals of Air Force history, their being one of only two families to have achieved such a service record, one that was even acknowledged by then-President Nixon in a personal letter of gratitude to the family.
The Litten story is one of a truly unique family experience, including having three of the brothers all enlisting on the same day and shipping off to basic training together. It is a story that the Wright State University’s Veteran Voices Project recently had the opportunity to document through interviews with the Litten Brothers Larry and Gerry, both of Fairborn, originally from the small Ohio village of Flushing.
Larry tells the story of his childhood, one of growing up during what were simpler times in small town Ohio, an experience he recalls with great fondness. These were days of working in the local dairy farm with his brothers, and nights sleeping out under the trees in his front yard, listening to music on the radio. There were not many opportunities around at the time for young men like himself and his brothers, so the military presented them a good opportunity to both do something meaningful in service to their country, while enabling each of them to send back needed funds for their parents. This money enabled them to build themselves a brand new house in 1964, which his mother lived in till her death. Larry continued to send her money long after the house was paid off, which helped her immensely.
The Litten brother’s parents felt it a true honor to have all seven of their sons serve their country, a pride that Larry continues to carry with him to this day. His family’s truly notable contribution to this country through their committed USAF service has inspired him to have their contributions honored both locally in Fairborn and at their birthplace in Flushing.
It was towards this effort that Larry reached out to me to see if I could be of assistance, which I am pleased and honored to do. I am running for office in order to help people in my community, and this is a man who has truly earned the right to be helped in this way.
This is why I have set up a funding effort to acquire the relatively modest resources needed to permanently recognize and commemorate the Litten Family for their dedicated service to our nation.
There are a number of avenues currently available to permanently memorialize and commemorate the Litten family and their dedicated service to our country:
*** There is a Memorial Park at the National Museum of the United States Air Force which offers numerous bronze plaques that can be dedicated to individuals or groups. ($3,000-$4,500)
*** Wright State University offers a number of different ways to honor veterans via their upcoming Champion Garden that is being planned by the Veteran’s Military Center. ($500-$1,000)
*** The Belmont County District Library in Martins Ferry near Larry’s home town of Flushing, has also committed to displaying a plaque honoring his family’s service, if one is made available to them. ($250)
Our goal is to raise the funds necessary to place a plaque at either one or all of these facilities, in order to honor Larry, Gerry and their entire family for their collective service in the USAF to our country.
Now in his 80’s, and with three of his brother’s already having passed away, Larry doesn’t want to wait any longer in this effort to honor them. With your help, we hope that the people of District 73 and the Miami Valley will step up to show Larry that he and his family’s dedication and contributions to our nation are valued and worthy of honoring.
Contribute to the effort here!
The Dayton Daily News did a feature on Larry and this effort, as well.
Read about it here:
“Fundraiser Set Up For Brothers With 133 Combined Years of USAF Service”