C TRP, 1ST SQDN, 1ST CAVALRY, AMERICAL DIV
Army of the United States
31 May 1949 - 07 March 1971
New York, New York
Panel 04W Line 032
The database page for Thomas Valerio
REMEMBEREDby his comrades in arms from
VVA Chapter 421
From a fellow Vienam veteran,
I served with Tom while we were both stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was a young "shake and bake" sergeant and I a new "butter bar" Lieutenant. We pulled many duties together. Later, after he had served with the 11th Armored Cavalry he was transferred to the 1st Armored Cavalry, when the 11th was disbanded. I was the Executive Officer of C Troop, and met up with him again upon his assignment to C Troop. I made him the Troop Armorer in an attempt to keep my friend safe. Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain when he was hit while in the Troop rear area in Khe Sanh during the Lam Son operation. Thirty two years later I have not forgotten him, and never will.
From a friend who served with Tom in Vietnam,
Tommy, I will always love you!!!
From a friend,
Tommy was my nephew and we lived in the same two family dwelling on Caroline Street, Staten Island, N.Y., until 1953 when I moved to California. We saw each other many times in both places over the years.
My husband and I saw him last in San Francisco May 1970 when he was shipped to Vietnam, along with his buddy Bob Van Hyfte. Bob ended up accompanying Tommy's body home to Staten Island and I saw them both again at the funeral. Bob has since passed away from Lou Gherich's disease
In the last letter I received from Tommy he spoke of possibly getting an R&R.
His death was devastating to our family, and of course to his parents Mary (my sister) and Tom Valerio. They moved to Glendale, Arizona to get away from the memories of him at home. He was their only child and the only war casualty we ever had in our family.
Tommy achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. His favorite character was "Snoopy" , which he had painted on his red car and I think he also named his tank the same.
It still hurts to think about him.
From his aunt,
I am Tommy's cousin Laura Corebello. Tommy and I grew up in our grandparents' home in Staten Island. We lived on the second floor where the two apartments were separated by a door. We grew up as brother and sister rather than cousins. We would slip notes under the door or talk underneath the crack of the door until our parents would open it up so we could play. He was my big brother, who taught me stuff like how to put playing cards in the wheels of my bike to make noise, and how to tie my shoe laces. He took me trick or treating for the first time.
He liked to drink Olvaltine and playing with erector sets. His dad got him involved with the scouts and I went out to see him in Valley Forge at a jamboree. I saw him advance to Eagle Scout.
As a teenager, he loved Elvis Presley.
The last time I saw Tommy was at a dinner we had for him before he left for Nam. I remember what he ate! He liked spaghetti with ricotta cheese. I was going to college at the time as an art major, and he was off to a war. We wrote letters back and forth, in fact, I still have them. I had painted Snoopy on his car before he left, and then he asked me to send a painting of Snoopy the Red Baron to him in Vietnam where he put it in his tank.
It was a sad day when we heard the news of his death. I will never forget the pain I saw in my aunt's eyes. This was her only son. She was left with a Purple Heart and a flag. To this day, I have a fear of losing my own son from this experience as a young girl.
His mom and dad are still alive in Arizona, but their health is failing. In fact, I don't expect Tom's mom to be around too much longer. She is very brave and I know she will be much happier when she finally gets to be with her son again.
The only memories of the Vietnam War I have are the news clips we saw every night on TV. I couldn't imagine being in the midst of it. Tommy was a brave soldier and I am very proud of him. I wish that we could have grown old together.
From his cousin,
Notes from The Virtual WallAccording to the 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, after action report for Operation Lam Son 719 two 122mm rocket bombardments on 06 March 1971 caused seven American deaths:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Jul 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009