William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
2019 Hall of Heroes Induction
MADISON, Wis. — The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison will posthumously induct Sergeant First Class, retired, Thomas Reneau into their “Hall of Heroes” at a public ceremony on Friday, Nov. 8th at 1:00p.m. in the hospital auditorium.
Reneau’s family will attend the ceremony to accept the honor.
“Our ‘Hall of Heroes’ serves as a reminder of the bravery of our Veteran patients and is a testament to the sacrifices they have made for their country,” said hospital director John Rohrer. “We are honored to celebrate Thomas’ heroism with his family.”
A career soldier, Reneau earned the Silver Star on September 12th, 1967, during a Viet Cong ambush.
Under heavy fire from both sides, Reneau’s M60 tank was hit five times and caught fire. Reneau and his crew continued to fire rounds towards the enemy sending as many as 12 more main tank rounds toward the enemy, exiting the vehicle moments before it exploded. The entire crew survived the attack.
For his actions, Reneau earned the Silver Star, was promoted to Staff Sergeant, and his crew earned Bronze Stars.
Writing his mother about the attack Reneau said, “so I guess you may say we were heroes, in a way.”
Joining in 1963 right after graduating from Beloit Memorial High School, Reneau served in Vietnam from July 1967 to July 1968.
He retired in 1985 after earning several more awards including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal among others.
In 1996 his alma mater, Beloit Memorial High School, inducted Reneau into their hall of fame.
“There are safer ways to make a mark in life,” Reneau was quoted as saying, “I feel humbled I was selected for this honor.”
Reneau passed away on Nov. 13th in 2006.
The Hall of Heroes is located on the first floor of the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in the main corridor on the wall near the Patient Education Resource Center.
Silver seals of the five branches of military service and the wording “Hall of Heroes” are permanently displayed.
The Veterans selected to be honored have their photograph and information about their personal awards and citations for heroism or valor displayed. A total of ten Veterans have been honored since 2002.
The criteria for induction is as follows: Veterans should have been decorated with a personal award and citation for heroism or valor. Awards are reviewed and authenticated with a release form signed by the Veteran to authorize the required verification. Awards will be ranked following military ranking, i.e. Congressional Medal of Honor being the highest possible decoration. Multiple awards for bravery, receipt of a Purple Heart, and prisoner of war status will also be considered.
Submissions of potential honorees are welcome from individual Veterans, County Veterans Service Officers, service organizations and others. As an on-going project, submissions can be sent at any time. Instructions for submissions for the consideration of the Hall of Heroes Committee can be found at: https://www.madison.va.gov/hall_of_heroes.asp
Each submission should include copies, not originals, of awards and citations, a completed authorization for verification form, and a completed submission coversheet.
Questions and completed packets can be emailed to VHAMADHallofHeroes@va.gov.