Professors often have vivid stories behind their professional demeanor, which reveal interesting backgrounds.
Dr. Larsen, associate professor and department chair of biological sciences, joined his military unit in 1983 as a captain. He was mobilized as a reserve officer in early Feb. 2003.
After time at Fort Bragg, he was deployed to Iraq in late March/April 2003.
“As an army colonel, I was a commander of the Area Support group that is a reserve that was based out of Garner and we had responsibility for logistical support for the southern 9 provinces of Iraq (south of Baghdad to the Quay border),” Larsen said. “Headquarters is located at the Toledo airbase just outside of Nasiriyah.”
In the summer of 2003, he received much satisfaction from working with locals to help rebuild facilities in the area.
He got to know many of the children in the area as he helped rebuild three orphanages in Nasiriyah.
Orphanages hold a special place close to his heart because his youngest daughter was adopted from Russia.
There were also medical units in his area that would provide water and medical and veterinary care to the local people.
Throughout his tour in Iraq, which lasted until March 2004, he received much support from back home in NC.
His wife spearheaded the support group for his headquarters by keeping up with the families of those in Larsen’s unit.
Dr. Larsen has many interesting stories, experiences, and pictures that he would enjoy sharing with anyone who’s interested.
By Sierra Fox