Southeast Texas Soldier Killed In Iraq - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/20/04 - Center

Southeast Texas Soldier Killed In Iraq

20 year old Larry Polley Jr. was killed in that an attack in Iraq over the weekend. He was raised in Center, that's about 30 miles northeast of Nacogdoches in southeast Texas.

Larry joined the Army in 2001. He was scheduled to return to Texas February 6th.

After graduation, Larry immediately joined the Army, anxious to serve his country. Then he was sent to Iraq. His father, Larry Sr., says the family was scared.

"He said, 'Dad, I'm going make you proud.' I said son, I'm already proud of you. You ain't got to do this to make me proud of you," says Larry Sr.

Then in December, Larry got to go home for Christmas. It was a time father and son could reconnect.

"We sat up and talked. We just enjoyed each other. It was a blessing just to see him. He told me for Christmas he told me when he was home that was, that he was going to retire in the Army you know, make it his career," says Larry's his father.

Confident that Larry had made it safely this far, he returned to Iraq January 6th to finish his duty. He wouldn't be there much longer.  By February 6th, Larry was scheduled to return to Texas. But this weekend's attack, changed everything.

"It just hurts you know, it really hurts to know that he went over there and lost his life."

Larry joined the Army to make his family proud, now he is their hero.

"My son died as a hero.  He died fighting for his country and I'm proud of him," says Larry's mother Lois.

Larry's wife and one year old baby boy live in Kileen. They are now in southeast Texas to make funeral arrangements.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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