I was most pleased to be in attendance at the presentation honoring Fairborn resident and Air Force veteran Larry Litten in his hometown of Flushing, Ohio, as he was presented a memorial honoring him and his six other brothers for their combined 132 years of service to our country as members of the U.S. Air Force. They’re one of only two such families to have such a level of military service, and Im glad to have been able to play a small role in seeing that their service was recognized.
I first met Larry Litten and his wife Leona earlier in the year (back in those pre-COVID days) after my friend and supporter Katie Bradshaw told me the story of Larry and his family, and asked for my help in getting this Fairborn veteran the recognition he deserves. Katie met Larry and his brother Gerry when she interviewed them for the Wright State University Veteran Voices program. She was excited to discover that the two brothers had another *five* brothers who also had served in the USAF, and that the brothers had a combined total 132 years of service. There family is only one of two in the annals of the service to have such a history. Larry is rightfully proud of this and has wanted to have his family recognized in a permanent way for this, so that their legacy can be remembered for generations to come. Unfortunately, after many years of asking local elected officials for help, he still wasn’t any closer to making this dream a reality. I promised this 82-year old veteran that I would do what I could to help.
After raising more than $5,000 via a gofundme campaign I helped launch to aid the Litten’s endeavor, we had the resources we needed to start things moving to make these permanent commemorations a reality. With Katie’s help, the first goal was to have his family recognized locally in their beloved town of their birth, Flushing, Ohio.
So on July 29th, 2020, Katie and I made the three-hour drive to Larry’s hometown, and attended a small ceremony at the Victoria Read Public Library in Flushing, where there was dedicated a framed commemoration honoring the Litten brothers and their service. This will allow the community to learn more about their accomplishments, and to recognize with pride that their small town of 900 people produced a family who dedicated themselves to one of the highest years of collective service to the military on record. It was particularly meaningful for Larry and his family to have the ceremony at the local library, and the memorial to them permanently placed on display there, as the library serves as an important public resource and meeting space for the community, and thus will likely get more exposure and awareness there.
All in all it was a truly lovely day. And while many aspects of running for office are difficult, it is events like this, ones where I am able to help members of the district and participate in some small way in their lives, that are often the most immediately rewarding, and that strengthen the foundation of our communities through acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by those for all of us.
We look forward to the next project in this effort, the dedication of a memorial bench at the USAF Museum commemorating the Litten’s brother’s service to our country. Stay tuned for details!
For more on the Litten Brothers and their history of service, see my earlier post on
“Honoring a Local Veteran and His Family’s Extraordinary Service”