Thomas Alvin Strande
United States Marine Corps
Chicago, Illinois
October 11, 1946 to July 03, 1968
THOMAS A STRANDE is on the Wall at Panel W53, Line 6

Combat Action Ribbon
Thomas A Strande
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13 Mar 2003

Tom was my first cousin and we grew up together. He was a wild and carefree kid. We were in Vietnam at the same time. He was a Marine and I was a medic with the Army Special Forces. We both served in I Corps. He was at Khe Sanh and Hill 881N where he was wounded. I was at FOB-4 near Danang. We corresponded while in Vietnam. I bragged that my twelve man "A" team had four Purple Hearts already. He replied, "only four of the fourteen man squad he came to the Nam with were still alive, and he also had a Purple Heart". A month later he was dead. I did not learn of his death for another month.

I often wonder what he would be like today and I miss him.

Steven R. Schofield
Major, SF, USAR (Ret)

01 Jan 2007

Tommy and I knew each other through our parents who lived across the street from each other on the North Side of Chicago. Tommy and I played together before we could walk and our parents remained friends, mostly my Mom and his Mom Gloria, they belonged to the same womens' club for years and had worked together during WWII.

As for Tommy and I, we both went to Hawthorne school, then my family moved away but Tommy and I still kept in touch. For many years he and I went to Lake Geneva Youth Camp sponsored by a little church on Damen Avenue. Needless to say we managed to get in trouble most every year we were there, but we had fun, we were both young and reckless.

After grammar school we kind of drifted apart, Tom went to Lake View and I went to Lane Tech. Tommy and I didn't really see each other again till he got in trouble with the Marines (AWOL go figure, ha). But my Dad and I went over to Tommy's home on Southport and we kind of renewed our friendship before he went to Viet Nam, although we didn't communicate while he was in Viet Nam. When I was informed of his death it really floored me, I went to the wake on Southport and spoke to his Mom, Dad and his sister Cheryl. The following year I went to Viet Nam.

I've never forgotten Tommy. I don't know if his Mom is still living, last I heard she was living in Tennessee, nor have I heard heard from Cheryl since I lived in Park Ridge. My Mom passed away in 2000. I would like to know where he is buried and visit his grave ... I have so much I want to tell him and I loved him as a great friend, I regret we weren't closer at the end and think about him often and what could have been!

Tim Paske

02 Jan 2007

Tom was my brother and I will always love him. I am sorry we never had the chance to be adults together. I am sorry he could not be an uncle to my kids nor could I be an aunt to his. I miss him and always will.

From his sister,
Cheryl Smith


A Note from The Virtual Wall

During the first 5 days of July the 3rd Bn, 26th Marines was conducting search and destroy operations in the western end of what was known as "Happy Valley". On 3 July, Lima 3/26 lost three men while engaging an NVA unit in the tiny village of Tung Heo Bac, 14 kilometers north-northeast of the Ha Tin airfield. The three men were
  • Cpl Franklin D. Ratliff, Chattanooga, TN;
  • LCpl Arnold A. Ades, St Paul, MN; and
  • Pvt Thomas A. Strande, Chicago, IL.

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