Dad, What Did You Do in Vietnam?

Picture1Former SP-5 Thomas L. “Tom” Randle Jr had served in South Vietnam from February of 1969 to February of 1970 as a Wrecker Operator with the U.S. Army’s 60th Land Clearing Company of the 62nd Engineer Battalion (Land Clearing), operating out of Long Binh Post in the Central Lowlands region or the III Corps Tactical Zone of operations.  Some 42 years afterward, he became President of his national reunion organization, the Vietnam Land Clearers Association, serving six years as their Boss while helping to promote their historic legacy.

His statement here, in presenting his Book, ‘Dad, What Did You Do in Vietnam?’, provides some synopsis on his unusual service in Vietnam during 1970.

I was inspired to write this book by the men that I served alongside. There is no hyperbole in this book. Land clearing and the men who were part of it in Vietnam are unknown to most of America. The history of Land Clearing in Vietnam is obscure. These men were the most unwashed, unruly, unshaven, and undisciplined of probably any unit in the Army in Vietnam. Nobody worked harder, longer hours, or endured more hardships than the men of land clearing. The Officers and NCOs knew that and gave us respect. I am confident we gave countless reasons to bring many, if not all, up on Article 15 charges. I don't think that happened to anyone I knew. The work was so difficult and critical to the mission of the US Army that leadership looked the other way. I would not want to repeat my time in Vietnam, which is why I did not re-enlist. However, I would not take a million bucks for all of the experiences and friendships.