Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Death of a Sky Cop-Larry Dotson

After the first batch of rain yesterday morning, the skies turned sunny and the humidity rose as well. It stayed that way, and by the time I reached the Crestview ball diamonds it was 83 and the sun was shining. Jim R and I had taken a Junior ACME double header, rather than the single Varsity ACME game, for obvious reasons....$100 as compared to $50. We did not get through it....4 innings into game number #1 the clouds circled around and the lightning and thunder put a hold on the games on both fields....we never restarted, the downpour started again about 7PM and we called the contests off....Sam, doing a game at the artificial turf in Celina, got into the 3rd inning when they shut things down. Severe storms were the order for the rest of the evening and overnight. This morning we are facing a mix of clouds and sun, and rain is in the forecast through tomorrow night....topping that off, tomorrow June 4th a high of only 60 is in the cards. Global Warming my ass!

Death of a Warrior_____

I first met Larry Dotson in February 2007 when 5 former Air Force Security Police guys that served in Vietnam decided to meet up at the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Mike Tillman, Wayne DeZarn, Rick Adams, Larry, me, and the oldest son Sam(who I was returning from a RV run to Florida with) met on a cold but sunny day at the Defensor Fortis Statue on the grounds of the museum. I had never met the others in person, we had served on different bases in Vietnam, but we shared a common past, and had conversed through e-mails and opinions on the pages of the Vietnam Security Police web site Bulletin Board.

Little did I know that Larry Dotson had a personal story that had been chronicled in the pages of a best selling book by Gary Williams called "Siege in Lucasville". This was the story of Larry Dotson former Air Force Sky Cop, and prison guard at the infamous Lucasville Penitentiary in Ohio, where in April 1993 Larry and others guards were taken prisoners by the gangs that had taken over the facility. "Siege" is the story of Larry Dotson's survival for 11 days of terror at the hands of murdering thugs. Others were not so lucky. The book remains in print and can be found at Amazon and other on-line book outlets.

The 5 of us spent a couple of hours together talking shop, and the Air Force, with Sam taking photos of the gang, before we departed for our various homes....Last fall we all decided to meet up again at Dayton, and invite as many other VSPA and non member sky cops as possible. Last Janaury 31st, 35 former Vietnam and Thailand cops gathered at the museum with another 25 wives and friends along for the ride....Wayne, Mike, Rick, yours truly were there...the one of the original 5 not to show was Larry Dotson. Larry's health had deteriorated, and he sent his wishes and his pain in not being able to attend...little did I know just how much he had fallen health wise. I corresponded with Larry via e-mails right up until last week....no health problems were mentioned.

Last night while checking my e-mail, after returning from our rain cancelled games, I spotted the note from Wayne DeZarn....Larry Dotson had passed. Details would be coming for services.

Larry Dotson, former Air Force Cop and survivor of 11 days of terror at Lucasville has passed on. God Rest your Soul Brother....you were one brave and tough man. Peace be with you and yours. Our ranks are growing thinner, but life moves on.

Housing Projects____

I am still trying to get into a frame of mind to start the painting project....Thursday looks to bring a few sunny and no rain in sight days...so maybe I'll start then. I know, I know, sound like procrastination doesn't it....well you are right. The tendon in my left arm(which was torn a few years back in a weekend warrior sports mishap) is acting up...and the pain, although moderate, is a hindrance. So, starting the paint war will depend on just when I'm damn good and ready.

Meanwhile Patricia has decided which Amish Crew will do the roof....the price tag? $4100.....gotta do what you gotta do. I can see it now..."Hey, look at my newest investment?" Speaking of investments, Hal called this morning thinking his car is on it's last run....well Hell, what better way to finish up his Masters studies than to have to purchase a newer car, before having a full time job secured? And live goes on......

back later>>>>

Photos--A foreign cover of Gary Williams book that chronicled the 11 days that Larry Dotson was held prisoner at Lucasville. February 2007, from left to right at the AF Museum...Larry Dotson, Pat Houseworth, Wayne DeZarn, Rick Adams, and Mike Tillman, Air Force Vietnam Security Cops all. January 31, 2009, Pat Houseworth and Larry's great friend Wayne DeZarn at the Defensor Fortis Statue honoring Air Force Security Police, located at WPAFB and the Air Force Museum.


Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

Our numbers grow thinner. Hand Salute.

Rich Burton said...

Indeed hand salute. Larry was a mentour (Flight Sgt) in Spangdalhem AB Germany to me and later as a coworker at Grand Forks AFB. We retired in the same area. Larry was a great down to earth person, I will miss him dearly, but he has Gods company now.

PRH....... said...

Thanks for Stopping Rich...Larry was a good man who lived a life most would not be able to handle, Larry did it with class.

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