By Ashley Rader
Treadway served as a Specialist 5th Class, in Troop A, 1st Squadron of the 1st Air Cavalry. A helicopter crew chief, he was killed in action in Vietnam on Aug. 12, 1968.
The Treadway family’s military history stretches back generations. His father, Thomas Treadway Sr. served in World War II. His sister Brenda Holland noted he had two uncles who served in Korea and further back in the family tree there was a general in the Confederate army and a captain in the Union army during the Civil War.
Holland said that while her brother’s service was not voluntary, it was something he carried out with a “sense of duty.” She said he left to go to Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day in 1967.
“He wasn’t planning to go in the military,” Holland said. “He was married. His daughter was just several weeks old. I am not going to say he enjoyed it but he had a big sense of duty. I think he felt like it was something he needed to do.
“At that time, there was some kind of policy that if it was your only son they could be exempt from combat. Daddy wanted to try to get him exempt from combat, but Tommy wouldn’t hear of it. I can still see him walking out to get on that plane to go to Vietnam, and he was just walking tall just as straight as he could go. That was a long time ago, 1968.”