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is honored on Panel 16W, Line 66 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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  • Ground Casualty

    Posted on 7/18/18 - by
    SP5 Randolph V. Rhea was Special Forces-qualified Infantry Operations and Intelligence Specialist assigned to Command and Control Central (CCC), Military Assistance Command, Vietnam–Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), 5th Special Forces Group. On November 12, 1969, an enemy mortar attack occurred on the Special Forces camp at Dak Pek in Kotum Province, RVN. Some of the 82mm rounds impacted along the short runway, scattering the Allied aircraft parked there. American AH-1G Cobra helicopters spotted the mortars on a facing hillside and attacked the position, ending the bombardment. It had not lasted more than two minutes. Personnel who had been on the runway got up, dusted off, and looked around. On the tarmac one man still lay there. It was SP5 Rhea. Two men rushed to him, turned him over, saw no wound, but he was dead. A medic examined more closely and found a pinpoint in his chest where a splinter of a mortar fragment had entered and penetrated his heart. Rhea got hit because, instead of running for cover, he had run in the open to help a pilot. For his efforts, Rhea was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for bravery. [Taken from and the book “Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG” by John L. Plaster]
  • Thank You

    Posted on 11/12/16 - by A Grateful Vietnam Veteran
    Thank you Spec 5 Rhea for your leadership and exemplary courage under fire.
  • Final Mission of SP5 Randolph V. Rhea

    Posted on 10/20/15 - by
    SP5 Randolph V. Rhea was born in Van Nuys, CA, and moved with his family to nearby Fullerton in the early 1950’s. He attended Raymond Elementary, Wilshire Jr. High, and Fullerton High School, where he ran cross-country and graduated in 1967. He was in Boy Scout Troop 97 and enjoyed the outdoors. “He liked camping, and would try the most extreme things,” his brother Darrel said. “He was a gung-ho kind of guy.” After one semester attending Fullerton Junior College, he enlisted in the army and excelled at basic training enough that he was chosen for a Special Forces unit. “Only one out of a thousand are chosen,” Darrel proudly said of his big brother’s accomplishment. “He went into the Green Beret training, which I didn’t really like, but he loved it. He thought it was the greatest thing in the world,” Milt Rhea remembered about his son. He said that Randy enjoyed the camaraderie with the other soldiers and his confidence in his own abilities grew. “I told him don’t be a hero, if you find yourself in trouble dig a hole,” was Milt’s advice to his son, “Sure enough, that’s the way he died.” His team’s job was to follow the movements of the Viet Cong. It was rough duty and twice he was the only surviving member of his Green Beret team. I always thought of Randy as a survivor,” Darrel said. “He was always going to be able to out-smart the circumstance.” To finish out his tour of duty, he was stationed at a remote helicopter base. A helicopter was hit by mortar fire and crash-landed. Randy went out to save a friend from the wreckage, and on a return trip to the wreckage, he was hit by a bomb and killed. “I know the story is true because after their tours two soldiers who were there when it happened came and told me the details of that day.” Milt said. For his efforts, SP5 Randolph V. Rhea was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for bravery. [Taken from]
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 10/31/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear SP5 Randolph Vincent Rhea, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • To Put A Face With A Name

    Posted on 4/25/12 - by Carol (Cipriani) Haberchak haberchak1311@comcast.nt
    Dear Randolph, to honor your memory and the sacrifice you made for your country I want to make sure your photo will be displayed on your birthday each and every year when the Education Center is completed, so it is with great pride and humility that I post this remembrance and picture of you. You are not forgotten and remain in the hearts of many all these years later. You have been designated to be one of God's special angels, along with the love of my life, who also sacrificed his life during this war 45 years ago. God Bless You, Randolph, for being who you were and for all you did--we live in freedom to this day thanks to heroes like you.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit