Major Rob Larkins of Sycamore was awarded a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
During that period, Larkins served with a joint Special Operations Task Force. As a Special Operations physical therapist, Larkins provided medical care for the soldiers in his task force and served with operational A-teams on bases throughout northeastern Afghanistan.
In addition to caring for U. S. soldiers, Larkins helped plan and execute village medical outreach missions in remote areas of Afghanistan. He conceived and executed a wheelchair campaign that provided more than 300 wheelchairs to improve the lives of civilians with disabilities. During one medical outreach mission in the Wardak Province, Larkins was part of a small team that served more than 1,900 people, including 425 children, over three days. Despite heavy insurgent efforts to disrupt the mission by launching 107mm rockets into the area, the Special Operations medical team continued helping the villagers, many of whom had walked for miles to be seen for the first time by a medical professional.
Larkins works full-time as a physical therapist at Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists in DeKalb and specializes in orthopedics, sports and industrial medicine.