CPT Thomas P Buckley was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 04/11/2011 at the age of 69.1
Silver City, NM
Date of Birth 03/16/1942
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 281 AHC in 66-67
This information was provided by Gary L. Stagman

More detail on this person: My dad, Tom Buckley, aka Model-T, passed away in the early morning on 4/11/11, 235 miles into his NOBO thru hike. He died in his sleep in his tent at Davenport Gap. He was 69 years young. This was his first thru hike.

My dad loved to hike but the number one thing he spoke of about his journey on the AT was the camaraderie. I want to thank you all that had the chance to share your kindness and stories with him on the trail. Hiking AT was a lifelong dream of his and I know he was having the time of his life. His obituary is below.

Tom Buckley, 69, of Silver City, N.M. peacefully passed away of natural causes on April 11th in the Smoky Mountains National Park while pursuing his lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. By his own assertion, Tom led a full and vibrant life. He served in the US Army for 26 years, including two tours of duty in Vietnam and one in Korea. He was distinguished for heroic service as a helicopter pilot with the Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. He further served as an Army Comptroller, earning a Master's Degree in Business Administration and CPA while on active duty. He retired as a Lt. Colonel and began a second career as an owner of a multistate distribution company in Houston, TX for 20 years.

When he retired to Silver City in 2006, he served as a stalwart volunteer in the local community. A quietly committed member of many community organization boards, he brought experience and energy to the Grant County Concert Series, the AARP Tax-aide program, the Grant County Pilot Association, the Senior Services Board, and the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP). Tom was a true master dabbler, language aficionado, and skilled handyman who was not afraid to jump on the roof to install a solar water heating system. As a life-long learner, he had widely varied interests including classical and gospel music, reading, flying, and dancing. He loved to travel, especially adventuring off the beaten path from Patagonia to the Arctic Circle, Europe to the Pacific Rim. And he loved to hike. He so valued the camaraderie and community on the trails, especially his buddies with whom he bushwhacked through the trails of Southern New Mexico and the "families" he hiked with for 235 miles along the Appalachian Trail.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Mary Ann Buckley of Silver City, mother Louise, brother David and his wife Pat, daughters Susan, Ellie and her partner Shelley, Kay and her husband Brian, Bonnie and her husband Joe, stepchildren Susy and Andy and his wife Shaira, and grandchildren Justin, Emily, and Andie. Donations can be made in his memory to the Grant County Community Concert Association P.O. Box 2722, Silver City, NM 88062 or the Continental Divide Alliance, 1200 Arapahoe Street, Golden CO, 80401.

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association