David Peace was born in Washington D.C. He graduated high school in Silver Spring, Md. In 1966. In 1967 Mr. Peace entered the military and served in Vietnam with Company F (Long Range Patrol) 51st INF ABN and Company D (Ranger) 151st INF and stateside with the Recon Platoon, HHC 4/325 INF, 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, NC.
Mr. Peace received his BA degree in 1975 from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke majoring in Studio Art with a minor in biology. In 1978 he received his MS degree in Medical and Biological Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA. Mr. Peace then served as a staff illustrator for the Department of Medical Illustration Services until his employment with the University of Florida, Department of Neurological Surgery, in 1979.
The story is the recorded memoir of his extraordinary wartime experience in the U.S. Army while fighting in the Vietnam War, from June 6, 1968 to June 6, 1969, as a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP), pronounced Lurp.
As a filmmaker and producer, Ed has worked over 30 years in the film and television industry. During this time, he produced and directed several documentaries: “Silent Heroes” (L.R.R.P.s) for The History Channel, “Pearl Harbor – Day of Infamy” for Discovery, and “Great Battles of the Vietnam War”.
Credited with a 4.0 G.P.A, in 2005 he completed the UCLA School of Directing as well as, Film, Television & Digital Entertainment Media. His tenure in the entertainment industry also includes: assistant director, stage manager, sound and audio boom operator, grip, lighting, camera, crane operator, and Multimedia- Final Cut Pro & Avid editor.
Mr. Peace has illustrated countless journal articles and book chapters dealing with the surgical and microsurgical anatomy of the brain, spine, and peripheral nervous system. He has been an invited speaker and guest lecturer on neurosurgical illustration at national and international conferences. His illustrations have appeared on the covers of The Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, Survey of Ophthalmology, and American Family Physician. David is a past recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke Alumni Association. Mr. Peace is, and has been, an active member of The Association of Medical Illustrators, The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, The 75th Ranger Regiment Association, and The Long Range Reconnaissance Association.
Mr. Peace is now retired and living in Gainesville Florida.
Thad Givens enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1967. While serving, he was assigned to Company F, 51st Airborne Infantry LRP where he was one of the selected few to serve on a team recognized as the first-and-only all black special operations LRRP team to fight in the Vietnam War.
They were called the “Soul Patrol.” Later in Thad’s combat career, he was assigned to Company P, 75th Ranger, where he served as team leader.
Thad continue to use his military training, expertise, and professional know-how in his mentoring and teaching techniques. His insatiable drive to development and formulate “successful and winning alternatives,” is a contribution to his leadership.
After completing his duty as career soldier, he follows up with an exemplary career in Law Enforcement. “I am blessed with two successful careers,” says Thad Givens.
I enlisted in the US Army in 1967 and volunteered for Vietnam when I signed up. My training was as expected although a couple of phrases that were constantly screamed at us I took with me to RVN, “you’re going to die in Vietnam”, and “there are only two types of people, the quick and the dead!” These two phrases stayed with me my entire life.
I served in Co F 51st Inf Abn LRP and later in Co O 75th Rangers, both of which I was in the 2nd Platoon. I felt honored to be in such an elite unit. I was also honored to serve in the second platoon. During the first few months of on the job training, as we became lurps, we seemed to bond as a group of guys who cared about each other. Our platoon area became the whole unit to us. I thought of it as more of a family atmosphere. This was because we were all the same, lurps doing their jobs, which was what defined us as one big family to me.
I completed my service in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg receiving an early out to attend school.
As solider of Company F, 51st Infantry LRP he was selected to serve on a five-man team that was the first-and-only all black special operations LRRP team, according to recorded U.S. Military history. They were called the Soul Patrol.
The courageous warriors of the “Soul Patrol” team worked behind the enemy lines gathering intelligence by initiating deadly ambushes; assessing bomb damage; reconnoitering; placing of sensors along known enemy infiltration routes; locating enemy targets and command posts; and conducting combat patrols and prisoner snatches.
His skills on and off the battlefield distinguished him as a smart, strong, and confident leader worthy of attending Recondo School, the elite Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol finishing school. At the age of 19 Ed was handpicked by his superiors for this arduous three-week commando course, which was declared the “Harvard” of elite special operations trainings.
Ed’s determination and perseverance throughout the strenuous academic, physical and mental Recondo School training led to a successful graduation despite the average failure rate is over 60% of all entrants. He was esteemed among the tough soldiers as the best-of-the-best receiving the honor of the prestigious Recondo “V” patch. Following his graduation Ed led several missions as the team leader and faced many life and death situations in the Vietnam War.His book, “Soul Patrol” is a non-fiction riveting and sometimes humorous firsthand account of his Soul Patrol team. The story is emotionally filled and a stingingly blunt narration of his “rite of passage” from a young soldier to manhood. Presidio Press, an imprint of Ballantine Books, a newly acquired division of Random House Publications publish “Soul Patrol”. “Soul Patrol” is available in bookstores nationwide.
I ended up choosing the Electrical field of construction. I started by going thru a four-year apprenticeship for the Union Electrical trade. This allowed me to learn the installation aspect of the industry while also going to school to learn the electrical theory and formulas. I took the positive aspects and leadership ability that I learned in RVN. This enabled me to rise quickly in the trade. After graduating the program, I continued to take classes, getting my Masters, and many Certificates for all the new technology at the beginning of the electronic world we have today. I became well known throughout the industry as manager on very large projects.
I retired at the earliest possible date and started my own company. The company I started was an Electrical Consulting and Management Contractor. I was also able to provide this service in several states because I piloted my own Cessna 172 airplane, which allowed me to move around to distant locations without spending all the normal wasted driving time.
Although retired, I continue to be a workaholic. The one thing that’s been missing, I was unable to bring back home with me the second platoon camaraderie. I’ve always had it within me, but I could never express that feeling with others.
It wasn’t until I was forced to reunite with my “Vietnam family.” My wife purchased the plane ticket for me to go to our Unit’s Reactivation ceremony without telling me. I was actually forced to go. This turned out to be a life changing event for me in too many ways to mention. I was able to be part of my first real family again, of which, I will never let it lapse again. This brings with it another project for me. A project I am proud and honored to be involved in.
F Companies legacy is their outstanding performance and unique ability in the field. I am involved in a project based another legacy that I was unaware of at the time. During the reconnecting with the second platoon guys, I found out about a project a good friend was working on at this point in his life. This project started years ago when his book came out, which I had the opportunity to read. The title, “Soul Patrol”, opened my eyes to something I never knew, actually I knew, but never understood the significance.
Company F 51st Infantry has achieved accolades for all aspects for their operations, but the company also had the only all black lerp team of the Vietnam War.
A documentary is being produced to tell the world about this historic achievement. I think this is significant for how it evolved. The world needs to know about the second platoon, which to me was my family. What we had, the world needs. The second platoon was a group of guys of many different races and personalities who became a group of guys who were all the same. We saw each other as lurps. People were judged by performance not by what they looked like. I and the people I associated with, only thought of the Soul as another team. If they couldn’t perform they wouldn’t have existed.
Now reunited with the second platoon, I often think what the world would be like today if our bonding and principles were spread across the nation. What a wonderful world it would be!
Thad was actively involved with many local, county, state and national organizations that enhance the quality of life for our youth. In his own community, he served as Chairperson of the City of Orange Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
During his time in Law Enforcement, he served with several high profiles Police Departments in the State of New Jersey:
Thad Givens held the positions of “Police Officer,” “Deputy Chief,” “Chief of Police,” “Director of Police, and “Deputy Director of Police,” “Detective and Detective/Sergeant,” Executive Protection Unit,” Anti-Drug and Crime Units.”
Thad also served as First Sergeant with the 42nd Military Police Company, “Master Sergeant” with the Provost Marshal Office, and First Sergeant Company C, 102 Medical Bn.
First Sergeant Givens is credited with the combat efficiency and readiness training for the 42nd Division Military Police Company, and the 102nd Medical Battalion, and was instrumental in the unit accomplishing their new mission requirements to First Army Training Command.
He prepared and trained his company to convert from a Medical support mission, into Medical Combat Support mission, and from a Law Enforcement mission into Combat Military Police Support Mission. His exceptional professional diplomacy and outstanding organizational skills resulted in a number of superior ratings. For this, he was awarded the “Army Commendation Medal” from each Unit.
Thad radiates a warm smile that will immediately put you at ease. His strong family values and love of family, coupled with his unflinching love of country and Faith in God, makes him who he is today. “His goals in life are not building a resume for his advancements, but to make sure that everyone he mentors will build a resume for himself or herself. “
“Young people need to hear the inspirational story about the “Soul Patrol.” They need to know that Black Americans fought courageously in every War that involved the American military.“
“It is my hope that all Americans be inspired and have a greater appreciation of the sacrifices these Black American soldiers made and all American soldiers who served our country.”
The “Soul Patrol” website is apolitical and non-partisan. “We are telling not just our story, but the untold stories… This is our mission for this website.”
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