Introduction Allow me to introduce you to a true "Old Reliable", Thomas C. Conroy of Lancaster, California. Tom, alongwith 9 others, was drafted out of Lancaster on May 17th, 1966, to serve with the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas when the 9th was reactivated for service in Viet Nam. Tom managed to stay with C Company throughout training at Fort Riley and his entire tour of combat duty in the Mekong Delta. You are looking at one very lucky man as he was one of the few Lancaster soldiers who survived combat - also he never was even wounded. His closest call came on October 6, 1967, when he was pinned down in a rice paddy by Viet Cong forces dug in, in a surrounding tree line. Several soldiers lost their lives that day and many were wounded. Tom had bullets and explosives slamming all around him as he laid out there exposed in that clearing. As a Platoon Radio-Telephone-Operator, he nevertheless called in artillery, which finally silenced the enemy, but not before he had scrambled for cover behind a rice paddy dike. A fellow soldier was seriously wounded while pulling Tom over the dike. While scrambling, Tom suddenly realized his radio had stopped working; upon examination he discovered a large bullet hole in the radio. That stinkin' heavy radio that he carried for months and grown to despise saved his life.
Bill Reynolds - January 23, 2001