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Larry John Bauguess, Jr.

Larry John Bauguess, Jr. was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina December 1st, 1970 to John and Martha Bauguess. He grew up in Moravian Falls with brother Terry, and sister Laura. He graduated Wilkes Central Senior High School in 1989, where he loved playing on the baseball team and served on Executive Council. 

 

As a ball player, number 15 wasn't the star of the team, but he was vital to each and every outing they had. He was an encouraging teammate, a hard worker that set an example for others, and he was a positive source of inspiration to everyone on the team. WCHS Coach Lackey remembers him as a guy who would dig in and give his all,...and then always help carry the bags to the bus afterwards. 

 

Larry went to Appalachian State University, and when he didn't make the baseball team as a walk on, he was disapponted. Then, one day, while walking across campus, he saw the ROTC class rappelling down a wall. He remembered thinking, "I could do that!" And he did. It was in the ROTC program that he met his future wife, Wesley. She was at App State on a golf scholarship and was equally as focused as he was. They graduated in 1993. 

 

Together, they actively served in the army together, with Wesley reaching the rank of Captain, until they decided to start a family,...two beautiful daughters, Ryann and Ellie. 

 

Larry was deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1997 for four months and also served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. He arrived at the 82nd Airborne Division in May 2006 and was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team’s Special Troops Battalion in December.

 

Everywhere Larry was deployed, he packed a baseball and two gloves; constantly ready for a quick game of catch when the opportunity presented itself. He played ball with countless people all over the world, many of whom will gladly tell you of his kindness, amazing character, and sense of humor that made them better people simply by knowing him. 

 

Before his last deployment, Larry & Wesley assisted with the filming of videos used to help prepare other military personnel and their families deal with overseas deployment, service and being away from a loved one.

 

He was in Pakistan with a NATO mission to mediate talks at the border with Afghanistan. 

 

“He was where he wanted to be; next to his commander, on the ground, in the fight,” Maj. Kenneth J. Ratashak, executive officer of the 508th Special Troop’s Battalion, said in a statement. “If he knew [Monday] would turn out the way it did, he would have gone anyway. That’s just who he was.”

 

He died of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire on May 14th, 2007 in Teri Mengel, Pakistan serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was 36. He was a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient.

 

Today, Wesley is a distinguished speaker for Folds of Honor, an author (her book "God, Country, Golf: Reflections of An Army Widow" is for sale now) and Ryann and Ellie are in school and growing up creative and brave and intelligent. Larry's parents still live in Moravian Falls and come to the annual baseball game fundraiser. 

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