Legion of Merit Award for 42 Years of Service
October 20, 2011
Command Sgt. Maj., Thomas Donohue, received the Legion of Merit Award for 42 years of service during a retirement ceremony with the 301st Regional Support Group, October 16, in Butler, Pa.
With the average age of an enlisted Army Reserve Soldier being 31, Donohue has served in the Army longer than most Soldiers have been alive. Forty years ago, then Pvt. Donohue, served in Vietnam and he knew back then he wanted to make a difference for Soldiers, not just be a number in a unit.
"I spent almost two years in Vietnam. I didn't know master sergeant's or sergeant's major. I made a vow that I would get to know my Soldier's, and be there when they returned from war zones, said Donahue, continuing, "The Soldier's kept me going for 42 years."
Donohue believed being a sergeant major meant being visible, getting out and spending time with his Soldiers. No matter the age difference, Donohue never stopped leading and mentoring Soldiers.
"It's reassuring and satisfying to know what's going on with your Soldiers," said Donohue "It's important for me to let them know who I am."
Donohue, a native of Williamsport, Pa., spent a lot of time on the road serving the military, and grew up understanding that taking care of Soldiers was his top priority.
"My dads been serving this country for 42 years, 32 of which I was alive for," said Donohue's son, Tom Donohue, Jr. "It's been tough, but it's days like today when he receives the recognition that he deserves that make it well worth it."
Over the course of 42 years, you would expect to make many friends. One Soldier, 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Brig. Gen, Peter Lennon, calls Donohue his "Battle Buddy".
Lennon presented Donohue with his LOM saying, "I have had the pleasure, the honor and the privilege of having Tom Donohue as my battle buddy, a battle buddy is someone who cares for you when they don't have to. He personifies the word. If you look at my cell phone CSM D is in my speed dial."
While the years have passed by, Donohue has racked up numerous awards for his military service including the Bronze Star. As part of the 1st Logistical Command in Vietnam, Donohue still wears his original COSCOM combat patch on his right sleeve.