2023 Post Reunion Address

                                                                                                          5  September  2023

- Post Reunion Address -

Dear Fellow Land Clearers,

It was a great honor to serve all of you during my first term as your Association’s Boss and President, while I greatly appreciated the vote of confidence that was given to me.  I felt quite comfortable being the host at our recent reunion in Branson, while enjoying the brotherhood we’ve established to reflect on our shared experiences as land clearers, and I look forward to continuing my guidence with all matters concerning our organization as we move forward to our next reunion in May of 2025.  Again, it will take place in Branson, MO, as our board of directors had unanimously decided that we could do no better, budget-wise or amenity-wise for a reunion location anywhere else than where we have been situated over the past two reunions. So it appears that we will no longer seek out other venues in different localities, while Branson now looks to be our reunion home base for the future, and for the rest of our association’s existence as a reunion organization.

For this next term that runs up to the 2025 reunion, we have a new Treasurer that’s come onboard to keep our association’s bank account in good order, and to make our funds redily available for our reunion needs when the time comes.  His name is Jim Myers of Miramar Beach, Florida, and he served with HHC of the 62nd when in Vietnam.   With his help, we will continue to serve the needs of our association as time marches on.

Something uniquely positive that came from our recent reunion in May, had to do with a movement sparked by former 86th LCT mechanic Keith Albert, who has been campaigning for support towards achieving an award by the Army by way of Congress that would recognize the achievments of all of the land clearing units and their men who perfomed the monumental task in South Vietnam of clearing the way.  An award to that effect would certainly give all of us a greater sense of purpose for the arduous job and dangerous endeavor that we had involved ourselves with, while also noting some others from our ranks who gave up their lives performing the same tasks that we had taken on in getting the job done.  Many injuries had also removed a number of men from the LC units during the six year period of land clearing operations within all five of the tactical zones of South Vietnam.  But for most of us after returning from Vietnam, a feeling of appreciation for what we did to help with the security of that country never seemed to be expressed or forthcoming to honor all of these men who had given so much of themselves while working at this task and braving the enemy’s land mines and rocket and mortar attacks that wound up becoming part and parcel to the dirty and exhausting work of clearing the jungle.

However, whether this award, in whatever form it may be, becomes a reality or not, we should all know that we have our own award (or reward) lurking inside of every one of us, given the fact that we know full well what we did in South Vietnam, and were well aware of how our actions with the Rome Plows had changed the landscape in such a way to where enemy insurgency had been stymied in certain areas, while greater security was realized.  But the larger aspect that was realized from our activities in clearing away the heavy jungle growth which came right down to the edges of roadways where traffic regularly flowed through, had to do with the very fact that with 100 or more meters of cleared jungle creating an open space on both sides of the black-topped 2-lane highways, it took away the enemy’s cover that was previously used to launch their hit-and-run type attacks, utilizing AK-47 fire and the use of rocket propelled grenades upon military convoys and even South Vietnamese vehicle traffic as they attempted to roll on through. 

So, from my own viewpoint as to the ‘award’ that I have been appreciating and holding within me as a badge of honor throughout the time since I was in Vietnam, I had found that the saving of countless lives resulting from our security cuts was more than worthy of any kind of award, which in effect helped to preserve life that otherwise would have been harmed or destroyed by the Viet Cong and NVA forces. 

In affect, ‘We Cleared the Way’, so that others might live.


Terry T. Brown

President / Secretary

Vietnam Land Clearers Association

2023 Reunion News

Hello fellow Land Clearers,

In assessing things to acquire a reunion location for us in 2023, I was presented with offers from prospective hotel venues in Huntsville, AL, Nashville, TN, and Omaha, NE, which were our three given choices arrived at by our board of directors at our 2021 event. Well, after looking them all over, I was disappointed to find that all of them had raised their room rates and were unwilling to provide us with more attractive group rates. Plus, in Huntsville it was found that the hotels didn’t have event space large enough to accommodate our projected count of attendees, while we would have had to rent an off-site event center for three days minimum, to serve as our meeting room and banquet hall. In Nashville, the hotels with the lowest rates were found to be 20 miles away from the city’s entertainment areas, and their ratings were noted to be not all that good. So, as your president, I had to make a judgement call on this, and decided to disregard all three of the proposed locations, while considering a return to Branson instead. Our 2021 site there, the Lodge of the Ozarks had offered to give us the same room rates at $89 a night, along with the same event space fees that we had. It will keep affordability for all clearly in the picture again, while most everything we need during our stay will all be there for us, as we won’t need to go off site, except to dine and see some shows. So, I just thought it made so much more sense to simply go back to that same location again, where they truly appreciate us as veterans.

After holding our event there twice already, everyone I spoke with had given it positive reviews, while many even wondered why we would want to consider going elsewhere. For those who were there in 2021, this should give them a chance to see and do some of what hasn’t been experienced there yet, as there is still so much for everyone to take in.

In the next few months, I will be mailing out informational flyers to all of our members, detailing all that everyone will need to know, with a sign-up form included. So, I truly hope this may entice those who otherwise might not be able to afford to attend our reunion, to possibly consider coming out and joining with us in celebrating the legacy of Land Clearing in South Vietnam. The dates of this event have been set for May 9th, 10th, and 11th of 2023. More information will be forthcoming as you receive your flyer in the mail. I will also post that flyer on this website, for further reference.

So, I hope to see you all there on those dates, at the same friendly and familiar place.

My best to all,

Terry T. Brown
President / Secretary
Vietnam Land Clearers Assn.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(925) 788-5226


* 86th & 501st Company Reunion *

The 'Rome Plows' are coming to
Emporia, Kansas

Current plans for this year's late Summer gathering of former members of the 86th & 501st Land Clearing Engineers, who helped to clear the way in South Vietnam, have been set for this coming September, God willing, at the farm home of Bob & Rita Dreyer in Emporia, Kansas.

Where : 1954 County Road S, Emporia, Kansas 66801
Who : Hosted by Bob & Rita Dreyer
(316) 343-1578 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
When : 17 - 19 September 2021

To announce your planned attendance to all or part of this event, with whomever may be accompanying you, and to obtain further details regarding lodging, call ahead or email the hosts.



The 86th Land Clearing Team had been in existence in South Vietnam from mid-1967 through December of 1968, while operations were initially based at Bearcat base camp until the 86th Engineer Battalion moved it's construction companies and base of operations south to the Mekong delta town of My Tho in mid-1968, to follow and maintain it's assigned support of the 9th Infantry Division, who had earlier relocated to the nearby area of Can Tho. Despite the departure of it's support battalion, the 86th LCT remained in Bearcat while working independently with various infantry divisions within the III Corps Tactical Zone, until moving later that year to Di An, north of Saigon, to join with the 168th Engineer Battalion and it's sister unit, the 27th Land Clearing Team. Then, in December of 1968, the two Land Clearing teams left the 168th in Di An and moved southeast to Long Binh Post to join with the 62nd Engineer Battalion, where they became part of a new consolidated Land Clearing support battalion. As a result, The 86th Land Clearing Team at that point in early January of 1969 had changed it's numerical unit designation to the 501st Land Clearing Company, and remained there in Long Binh as one of the three Land Clearing line companies of the 62nd Engineer Battalion until April of 1970, when the unit was then deactivated, with their equipment and some of the men dispersed to other units; while others had rotated out from their tours and returned to the states.

For their arduous efforts and dedication over the span of five years of constantly clearing the thick and dangerous jungled landscape within the III Corps area, their noble reward, despite the loss of some of their men from enemy action and from accidents, was in knowing that their efforts and participation had served to save many lives; people who otherwise would have been lost to enemy ambush along the jungle-lined edges of roadways that existed prior to the introduction of the Rome Plow and what it was projected to ultimately do, in greatly improving security within the various areas of South Vietnam.