Lt. Gen. Thomas H. Tackaberry joined an Army at war, enlisting amid World War II.

He later served in Korea and Vietnam, becoming a hero of both conflicts. He’d go on to command the 82nd Airborne Division and, later, the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg.

But Lt. Gen. Tackaberry, who died Monday at the age of 93, wasn’t defined by the three stars he wore on his uniform at the end of his 38-year military career.

Nor did the numerous medals that made him one of the most decorated officers in Army history — three Distinguished Service Crosses, five Silver Stars, a Distinguished Flying Cross and a Soldier’s Medal, among many others — provide the full measure of a man long devoted to his country and his family.

“He never talked about his awards,” said retired Brig. Gen. Burt Tackaberry, one of his oldest sons. “He was very humble. He knew what he achieved, but was very quiet about it.”

After his Army career, the general lived quietly at the family home in Gates Four and later, in a Fayetteville nursing home, his son said. But he was fiercely proud of his service, especially within the 82nd Airborne Division and at Fort Bragg.

 

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