In late October, during the 15th annual Jayhawk Battalion Alumni Association Wall of Fame induction ceremony, one of Dodge City's own was recognized.
Larry Burke was a professor of history from 1969 to 2012 at Dodge City Community College, where he was awarded the Master Teacher Award and Excellence Award from the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development.
Burke was also the first-ever recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Faculty award in 2000 at DCCC.
Before returning home to Dodge City, Burke was a Distinguished Military Graduate through the Army ROTC and later joined the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.
In 1965, Burke completed airborne school and received orders to Vietnam in 1966 with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division.
According to his bio, Burke created the Headquarters Field Company, a rifle company that was created out of elements that weren't appropriate for jungle warfare, which he led on multiple combat operations.
Burke became Division Liaison Officer to II Field Force Headquarters later in his tour, where upon completion of his assignment, future NATO commander Gen. Bernard Rogers — then the assistant division commander — called Burke "the best liaison officer I have ever known."
Burke won the Bronze Star with V for heroism with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with V for heroism with one oak leaf cluster, six air medals and the Combat Infantryman's Badge from his tour in Vietnam.
Burke retired with the rank of major.
During his time back in Dodge City, Burke and his wife, Sonja, raised three children and took part in several groups and organizations in Dodge City, including the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas, DCCC Foundation, Dodge City Public Library, Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce and Kansas Association of Historians.
He is a published author, published in the Journal of Military History. His award-winning short story "Quan Loi" was published in the Vietnam War Generation Journal.
Burke and his wife moved to Lawrence in 2017 to be closer to their two daughters and grandchildren.
Burke's brother, the late former DCCC president Richard Burke, was a past honoree of the KU ROTC Wall of Fame.
"It is a nice thing for our family to have two inductees," Burke said.
As for his own induction, Burke said, "It was exciting for me to be selected for the Wall of Fame. There are probably thousands of ROTC cadets who have gone through the program at KU and to be selected as one of the few to be recognized in this fashion was certainly gratifying.
"I loved my time at KU and have fond memories of my ROTC experience and of a couple of officers that were there at the time who were role models for me."
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