A-502 - Detachment A-502 - Vietnam       A-502 - Detachment A-502 - Vietnam

     It is unlikely that the words "peace" and "prayer" are often uttered during conversations about Special Forces soldiers or their brothers in the Special Operations units of other military branches.  However, the truth is that most of these soldiers are men of peace with strong beliefs in a supreme being, regardless of the name by which they address him.   This was especially true for the men of Special Forces Detachment A-502.

     Camp Trung Dung and its outposts were home to highly trained men with exceptional military skills and a wide range of religious beliefs.  This seemingly contradictory combination of individual qualities is actually a very common blend for the men in our country's most elite and experienced military units.  The reason is really very simple.  It is because these men understand or have witnessed the horrors of war and, in many cases, have stared into the face of death themselves.  These are men who know fear intimately and do not want to die any more than those they have left behind at home, those who pray for peace and the safe return of their loved ones.

     There were members of A-502 wearing the camoflagued uniforms of a Special Forces soldier who had previously worn the cassocks of either an acolyte or altar boy.  There were also men who were so proud of their faith that they had given themselves nicknames to proclaim their religion.  Larry Freedman was such a man.

Lawrence N. Freedman

     Larry was Jewish and so proud of that fact that he nicknamed himself "Super Jew" . . . and he was.  The attitude displayed in the picture above was encountered by his A-502 teammates, day-in and day-out.  While he was trained with all the skills of any other "Green Beret," he also had the additional skills of a combat medic.  He was an intelligent, dedicated man with an exceptional sense of humor that can almost be felt when looking at his picture.  Larry's dedication was such that, after surviving Vietnam, he remained in the service and continued to serve as a medic.  When United States forces were sent to Somalia, he was a member of one of the units involved.  Regrettably, Larry was killed in Somalia when the vehicle in which he was a passanger hit a land mine.

     In many ways, Larry Freedman and men like him put the "special" in Special Forces.  This "Peace & Prayer" page has been made a part of this website so that family members, friends, and researchers will have a balanced view of Special Forces soldiers.  It has been said by others, but is very true of the men who served at A-502.  They trained for the missions of war . . . but prayed for peace.

     Prayer was so important to early members of Special Forces that one was created specifically for the unit. That prayer is posted on the Special Forces Search Engine website.  Click on the link below to see the prayer and read its history.

Click here to view the Special Forces Prayer and its History
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United States Army Special Forces
Detachment A-502.

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