The famous but tragic fate of the five Sullivan brothers, who made the ultimate sacrifice together on the U.S.S. Juneau in World War II, had to be weighing on Maebelle Hunter’s mind when five of her eleven children all joined the military in the middle of the Vietnam War. Henry “Buddy” Hunter, the eldest of the five, joined the Air Force ahead of Donald, Randy, Larry and Lenny, who all volunteered for the Army Signal Corps at a time when many other young men were looking for ways to avoid the unpopular and treacherous trip to the jungles of Indochina. Close throughout their childhood on Spruce Street on Stamford’s West Side, the Hunter brothers were not about to let a mere war come between them.
Larry, the ninth of Maebelle’s eleven children, attended Stevens School, Cloonan and Rogers Junior High, before graduating with the 100th graduating class of Stamford High School in 1965. As a kid, Larry says the five boys were very close: “We were called the little kids. I used to joke that they called us that because they didn’t know our names. We just always did things together.” He joined the U.S. Army in 1966 and entered basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C. before deploying to Vietnam as an ammunition storage specialist. Always remaining close with his brothers, near the end of his tour he was even able to drive to Quy Nhon to visit Lenny for just two hours. After safely serving one year in-country, Larry was transferred to Ulm, Germany, where he continued to serve until his honorable discharge in 1969 as a Buck Sergeant.
When, to Maebelle’s great relief, Lenny, along with his brothers, returned home safely, they have remained close. In fact Henry, Randy, Donald, Larry and Lenny played on the same bowling team for twenty five years, winning the Connecticut State U.S.B.C Open Tournament in 2012!
Larry is still in Stamford. Now a widower, he and his late wife Betty had three children and five grandchildren. He volunteers at the Bridgeport Veterans Food Pantry with his brother Lenny and is a member of the Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church, St. John’s Lodge #14 and Order of the Eastern Star, Dorcas Chapter #14.
Stamford COTY is pleased to honor Larry Hunter as a distinguished veteran.