Earning my doctorate degree was just one way that I have continued to honor my dad. I miss him immensely; it is a strange feeling to yearn for someone I don't remember knowing. Part of my journey to find peace took the form of traveling twice to the land where my father died and relying on my family and friends. I have been so blessed to meet so many amazing veterans and people that have encouraged me throughout my search. Also, now, I seek to pour into my family, my students, and my mom, as I spend many a minute by her side because I know that's exactly where my dad would be.
At the White House
My father was selected as the Navy representative to be honored at the White House in a ceremony for Gold Star families. My mom, Aunt Marge, and I attended, and it was a beautiful experience in the nation's capitol. We met with Former President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Mike Pence.
Travel to Vietnam
My first trip to Vietnam held a whirlwind of experiences and emotions. I saw the Rockpile, Route 9, Montagnard Village, Khe Sahn, and many other places that my dad had walked on when he was there. It was incredible to feel his presence with me in Vietnam and to see for the first time the land where my father died.
I wrote the National Military Personnel Records Center, as I had done before, but this time received a packet containing an autopsy report. This report was horrific and described my dad in ways that no one's father should ever be described. Nevertheless, this discovery was crucial for my search.
Second Trip to Vietnam
A Marine, and friend, named John Edwards invited me to go with him to Vietnam just six months after my first trip. My youngest son Casey came with us too. This time, we got to see more of Valentine's Ridge and stand as close to the place my dad died as we could.
The Whole Story
After years of interviews and study, I realized that writing one cohesive account would not be possible. Rather, as I completed this book, I laid all the accounts and information I have collected side by side to see what commonalities appear.
Finding More Than My Father
The journey, really my entire life, of this book has been beautiful, draining, inspiring, and challenging. I have met amazing veterans, leaned deeper into my faith, grown closer to my dad, and learned more about the unsung hero of this story, my mom Marty.
Larry Jo Goss Peace Home
While in Vietnam, my heart broke for the people living in poverty in the Montagnard village. I knew that my dad would do something. In 2021, through the Two Sides Project, I began raising money to build a home for a Montagnard family. The month my dad would have turned 75 the Larry Jo Goss Peace Home was gifted to the young Montagnard family who captured the hearts of my son, Casey, and me in 2019.