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1969-1970 | Ft. Benning, GA
After attending Bowling Green State University, Tom went to Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA. He was in Sixth Platoon, 60th Company, 6th Battalion, The Candidate Brigade, US Army Infantry School and a member of the OC 2-70 class (2nd graduating class of 1970.) He was commissioned on January 23, 1970 as a 2LT by his brother, Steve, who was a Naval aviator. Members of this OC 2-70 class began having reunions in March 2000 and their first reunion was in Washington, DC where they visited Tom's gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery. They have a website where you can view pictures of their days at Ft. Benning as well as view their reunions: http://oc270.com/reunions.htm
Here is a remembrance from an OCS classmate:
Tom was a wonderful guy and someone you could count on to help out whenever possible. It has been 40+ years since he passed away but his memory is still present with all our classmates.
After we graduated, I was stationed at Fort Benning and Tom stayed with me for three weeks while we both attended Airborne School. After that, as you know, Tom went up to DC and was stationed at the "Old Guard" which was one of the prestigious assignments in the Army. In order to be accepted, you had to be of certain stature and character. Prior to me heading to Vietnam, I visited Tom and he was the person who put me on the plane to that country.
(All classmates were given nicknames. Tom's was Twiggylegs!" When I asked about that, this is what he said;)
On a lighter side, I did want to relate to your comment about Tom's "Twiggy" legs. Back when we were going through OCS, there was a very skinny model that had "Twiggy" as her nickname. If I recall correctly (hard to do after all these years), Tom got the nickname not so much for having skinny legs but because on certain occasions, he would raise up on his tiptoes to give out a command. We were all pretty thin in OCS and when Tom was on his toes, he did look like a skinny model.
Thomas Corrigan, Sixth Platoon
Another OCS classmate tells this story...I have to side with Tom on this one:
Todd Ezell (Fifth Platoon; also a member of "The Old Guard") and Tom had a thing going the whole time during OCS on football...who was #1 Ohio State or University of Texas!
CJ Spence (Sixth Platoon)
Ft. Myer, "The Old Guard"
1970 | Fort Meyer, Virginia
Tom was in “B” Company, 1st Battalion (Reinf), 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard” at Fort Myer, Virginia. He was leader of 2nd platoon and after giving a speech to an incoming 1970 class, his commanding officer, Col. Robert M. Daugherty, was so impressed that he sent a copy of Tom’s speech to all officers in “The Old Guard” saying, “I feel this has something to offer for each of us regardless of age, rank, or time in ‘The Old Guard.’”
The Old Guard Platoon Member Story
1970 | Ft Myer
I served under "LT" Jones at Fort Myer as a member of the Old Guard in 1970 and 1971. LT was bright, an excellent officer, and fair to his men. His loss affected us all. To his family, I can say that LT had a positive impact on my life as a role model, and it made me and others better men. He taught us "There are those who remember...", a statement which we never could have believed we would apply to the LT. I remember, and I am sure there are many others whose lives he touched in only the way he could.
Garnerville, New York
Vietnam Platoon Member Story
1971 | Vietnam
I was lucky to have served with LT Jones in Viet Nam. I always joked with him about being on the first chopper into the LZ with him and my M-60. When I asked why, he always responded "I'ts because I like and trust you. " I always told him I wish he didn't like me so much. I will always remember how great a person he was. I wasn't there when he died, I was just returning from a In-country R&R to China Beach (One he sent me on). I was honored to serve with him and will always remember. David "WEED" Wedin
Vietnam - By the River
1971 | South Vietnam, near DMZ
1LT Jones was platoon leader of “C” Company, 1-327th, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Even though they were infantry and fought in unthinkable circumstances, there were a few light-hearted moments. His M60 gunner tells the story of a time when the platoon was beside a river. He and another platoon member decided to have some fun with “LT” and throw him in the water. What they didn’t know, however, was that Tom had been captain of the wrestling team in high school and they were the ones who ended up in the river while Tom stood on the bank laughing at them!
Sleeping in Vietnam
1971 | Vietnam
To try to keep ourselves safe at night in the jungles of Vietnam, we would set up a series of wires that were low to the ground around the camp. The wires were attached to a grenade and if the Viet Cong would try to sneak up on us at night they would trip the wire and set off the grenade.
Besides worrying about the enemy, there were also tigers to be concerned about as well as the ever-present leeches that would attach themselves to us while we were sleeping. We had to pick them off of us in the morning. Some soldiers still have scars from these leeches.
Radio Operator's Remembrance
1971 | Vietnam
I proudly served as radio operator for L-T Jones in Viet Nam. He was a man of integrity that everyone liked and respected. I was on R& R when he was killed. Rest in peace brother. I will see you again someday.
Note: Jeff worked side by side with Lt. Jones 24 hours a day when they were in the field. He transferred out of C Company and into Battalion operations 2 weeks before Tom died. He went on R & R in Hawaii and was there when he died. He and Tom worked closely as a team for 5 months and they had each other's backs on more than 1 occasion.
A soldier's remembrance from a different platoon
1971 | Vietnam
I do remember Lt Tom Jones. He was a good guy, He and Rick Jones were very close so I saw him around a lot. I was with 1st platoon under Lt. Rick Jones; I was his FO and Radio Operator at the time Tom died. I carried the radio so when we heard what had happened it bothered us all very much. He did a very brave thing that day trying to save others. He seemed always upbeat and full of energy. I don't remember how long he was with Charley Co., but he impressed me. I have some other memories of Tom it's just hard to dig them out after 41 years. Lt. Rick Jones died in a car accident in Georgia (about 2009.)
1st Platoon Member's Remembrance
1971 | Vietnam
I was in first platoon, and Tom (as opposed to our Lt. Rick Jones) was the platoon leader of second platoon. I was not around him much, but he seemed like someone I would liked to have served under. He cared very much about his men, and as I was told after I was dusted off, he died trying to save some of them.
Leonard (Lenny) Lowery
Beta Theta Pi Scholarship
1971-1972 | Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
After his death, Tom's fraternity brothers in the Delta Delta chapter of Beta Theta Pi at BGSU set up a scholarship in his memory. Beta Theta Pi is no longer at BGSU.
BGSU Memorial Plaque
November 12, 2011 | Bowling Green State University
Tom's name, along with 24 names of former BGSU students, was added to the BGSU Memorial plaque honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. The ceremony was held on Veterans weekend at Memorial Hall with Tom's former OCS classmate, Bill Music, in attendance. The plaque was first dedicated in 1961 honoring former students who had died in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. David Ridenour, a member of the BGSU ROTC class of 1970 and a Vietnam Vet spearheaded the effort to update the plaque.
Above and Beyond Memorial
Memorial Day, 2001 | Chicago, Illinois
The Above and Beyond Memorial is a powerful and stirring work of art that originally was housed in the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. This 10 by 40 foot memorial was designed by Ned Broderick and Richard Stein to honor the 58,289 men and women killed in the Vietnam War. There is one dog tag for each person and on it is imprinted their name, branch of service, and the date on which they were killed. These tens of thousands of metal dog tags hang suspended 24 feet in the air, spaced 1 inch apart and arranged in date order, from fine chains that allow them to move and chime with the shifting air currents. The last corner dog tag is black and is suspended just a little lower than the others to commemorate the POWs and MIAs. This memorial was first opened to the public on Memorial Day 2001 but when the museum moved to it's new quarters in 2012 there was no room to house the Above and Beyond sculpture. It is currently waiting for a new home. Tom's name is on one of those dog tags.