As a member of the planning and programming committee for the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial, Larry Salzman played a key role in the permanent placement of the Moving Wall — a tribute to veterans — in this city.


 

As a member of the planning and programming committee for the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial, Larry Salzman played a key role in the permanent placement of the Moving Wall — a tribute to veterans — in this city.
 

Inside the National Guard Armory on Monday, just steps away from that Memorial, Salzman was remembered for his many contributions to southeast Kansas and for his service to this nation as a member of the U.S. Army.
 

"He was a hero in every walk of life," said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Strukel during an emotional tribute to Salzman, who died on March 4 at the age of 68, after a long battle with cancer. "There are not enough good words to say about Chief Warrant Officer Larry Salzman. I never knew a bad day when I was in the company of this great soldier."
 

Salzman served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1977, a tenure that included two tours in Vietnam as a CWO and as a helicopter pilot. In 1966, he served for two years on active duty as part of the ROTC staff at PSU. He received numerous citations and honors during his military service, including the Bronze Star, several air medals and the Army Commendation Medal. Along with serving in the military police and on border patrols, Salzman also was the personal helicopter pilot for Five-Star Gen. Omar Bradley and for Gen. William Westmoreland from 1969 to 1971.
 

"He wanted to make his country better," Strukel said, praising Salzman for his dedication to not only the United States, but also to Crawford County and the local community.
 

Salzman's connection with the PSU Veterans Memorial dates back to 1994 when he "struck up" a friendship with John Devitt, owner of the Moving Wall, when the display was in Girard. After much discussion, Salzman helped convince Devitt to donate the Wall to Pittsburg. Strukel said he feels "certain" that the PSU Veterans Memorial would not exist without Salzman.
 

"And of the venues in Crawford County to which people can go, it ranks at the very top," Strukel said of the memorial.
 

Salzman's wife of 49 years, Wilma Salzman, said she was "very moved" by the tribute paid to her late husband.
 

"I was really honored that they did the remembrance of my husband," she said. "It meant a lot to my family."
 

When she learned her husband would be honored at Monday's ceremony, Wilma admitted to being unsure if her emotions would hold up throughout the tribute.
 

"I was wondering if I was going to be able to get through it," she said. "But I think I did pretty good, considering."
 

Kevin Salzman, one of Larry's sons, said he also appreciated the remembrance service.
 

"I think it was really nice," he said. "They did a great job. This Memorial Day will always be special to me, that's for sure."
 

Wilma Salzman also said Memorial Day 2009 will always hold a special place in her heart.

"It will stand out in my mind and in my heart forever," she said.