Ripcord Association

Anthony C. Critchlow
HHC 2/506

    I was born and raised in Boise Idaho. I graduated from Borah High school in 1967. I was 19 years old at graduation.  I sweated out the last year of school because of the draft.  I worked in a local restaurant all summer. In the fall I joined the “Army to travel the world”.  My basic training was at Fort Lewis Washington.  I went on to AIT Cook School at Fort Lee Virginia.  Upon my graduation I was assigned to Germany.

   After a leave in Idaho I traveled to Germany.  At the reception center I was told they had no place to assign me in Germany, but I could go to Italy.  So on to sunny Italy. I finally ended up at the Army Airfield in Verona Italy. The base was called Boscomontico.  We had lots of older helicopters on base and after a few rides I was hooked. I wanted to be a pilot. I failed the eye tests because my glasses correction was too high.  I stayed in Italy for 1 year. Then I volunteered for Vietnam.  After leave I reported to Fort Lewis again, this time to get ready to fly to Vietnam. In true style I arrived 1 day late. I was told by the Sergeant (You know soldier you could be court marshaled for this) “I said” great, they will be short 1 cook over I guess” He took my papers and assigned me to a company to do pre deployment training.  After 2 weeks I was on a plane.

    The plane landed in Cam Rahn Bay.  After a few days there, I was assigned to Bien Hua Vietnam for in country P training. I was assigned to HHC 2/506. It was on to Camp Evens.  The year I was there I worked on 5 firebases, Blaze, Birmingham, Bastogne, Mai Loc and finally Ripcord.  I left Vietnam on 24 July 1970. I heard about Ripcord on the flight home from a Pathfinder .He was headed home on emergency leave. After 2 weeks, again at Fort Lewis, I received an early out. I went home to Boise to start my new life.

    I met my future wife, Dennise, at Grants Truck stop where she was a waitress. We married in July of 1973. Shortly after our marriage I re-enlisted in the Army. This time I planned to stay a full 20 years.   I was stationed for 1 year at Fort Eustis Va. I was reassigned to the 29th Trans, Stuttgart Germany. Our son was born at Bad Cannstatt in 1975. From there we went to Fort Hood Texas.  We stayed there one year. I was assigned to the 2nd Armored Div. The 2nd AD was opening a new base in Germany.  After 3 years I went back to Fort Hood. This is where our daughter was born in 1982. I was assigned to the 110th Aviation Bn.  While with the 110th we went to Honduras to sit on the border with Nicaragua.  I received orders for Korea in 1986, where I was assigned to HHT 4/7 Cav.  This was the only time I was separated from my family. It was a long year for sure. Back from Korea, I was assigned to 3rd Signal Bde. I stayed there until I retired in Dec of 1990.

   After returning to Boise I worked 16.5 years for Micron Technology making computer memory chips. I was laid off in 2008 when the economy turned bad. From there I worked for EDS. I was a help desk agent for the Navy Marine Corps intranet.  This was a very rewarding job helping the military again. EDS was bought out by HP Corporation. Again in January 2010 I was laid off.  I then worked of the 2010 US Census. I worked in the office there setting up supplies for the Census takers. I finally retired at the age of 62 in December 2010.  Now I have time to spoil the 5 grandkids. I spend my days keeping our Facebook page up to date, working with the Girl Scouts and playing with our 4 wheelers.

Military units:

Setaf Aviation SETAF (Boscomontico Italy)

HHC 2/506 Infantry 101st Airborne (Vietnam)

HHC Tradoc Fort Eustis Va.

29th Trans Stuttgart Germany

HHC 2nd AD Fort Hood Texas and Karl Shultz Germany

HHC 110th Aviation 1st Cav Fort Hood Texas

HHT 4/7 Cav South Korea

HHC 3rd Signal Bde Fort Hood Texas