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Wilkes County Veterans History Project: Dominick Adamo

Dominick Adamo

Then and Now

June 2023

"Tailored Jacket still fits after 55 years!"

Cobra on the Sleeve

Land of King Cobra

Korat - Thailand 


Fort Dix, NJ - Sept 1966

Basic Training - Goofing Off with 'Foot Shine'

Charles Bachelor, Kavanaugh, Howdy-Doody, and the boys

Basic Training at Fort Dix, 1966

Basic Training in Fort Dix

The Wild Bunk Band 

"A little rough on the guitar."

Dominick and Norman

Spit-shining their Boots

Fort Dix

Fort Dix, NJ - Sept 1966

Arm Wrestling Three at Once and Winning

Vernon Andrews, Charles Bachelor, John Barette and me

Fort Dix, N.J. Sept 1966

John Brickferd, Norman Cardiniale, Vernon Andrews, Charles Bachelor, John Barret and me wearing a Gas Mask

Boys at the motor pool - Fort Bragg, NC - Sept 1967

Hooks and Loodickie

Volleyball at Fort Bragg

Headquarters Office in Thailand

Local Thailand Helper Shining Boots

Dressed Up for Guard Duty

Dressed for Duty

Dominick's First 'Stache

Dominick Getting on the Elephant

Made it on Board


Stocked with all the necessary beverages

Writing Home

Off Duty in Thailand

Working Hard

Boys at the Motor Pool 

Comrades Working on Vehicles

Ready for Combat 1968

Bringing Food to Combat Troops in the Field

Standing in front of the line for Food

Working on the Road

Building the Road from Cambodia to Vietnam

Building a Road

Mixing Asphalt

Working on the Road

Pouring and Smoothing the Asphalt

Working on Road with Machines

Generals Flying in for Road Inspection

Finished Road

Bogged in the Mud

Monsoon Season Leaves Its Marks

In Front of a Vietnam Hooch

In Front of a Hooch

Fellow Soldiers from New York

In Front of a Boot Lineup

With a local dog in Thailand

With Larry Magnesson

From Fargo, ND

Comparing cold Temperatures - Syracuse or Fargo?

Heading Home

Troops Boarding Plane to Head Home

Back Home - 1967

Dominick and Lucy on their wedding day

Dominick Adamo's Story, as told to Emily Ball

Dominick Adamo was born June 30, 1944, to parents Thomas and Lena Adamo in Canastota, New York. His mother died when he was nine months old and his grandparents raised him along with his sister, Mary Adamo Wilson. They went to East Syracuse Minoa High School.

Dominick was working as a carpenter for Ryan Homes Inc. When he enlisted in the Army on September 27, 1966. He served until October 2, 1969. His family was proud of his service, following the family tradition to serve. It was hard to leave his family behind, but he knew that it was the right thing to do.

He took his first airplane ride to Fort Dix, NJ. Where he spent two months for Basic Training. Basic Training was a bit hard to get used to . . . adjusting to physicals, Army food, weapon training, and crawling under barbwire.

After Fort Dix, he transferred to Fort Bragg for ten months of Engineering Schooling. It was a very thorough and in-depth course of study. He received certificates showing that he had completed his Engineering Course. 

After Fort Bragg, he went to Vietnam and Thailand, as part of the 75th Engineer Battalion. There he served a year's time building a road from Cambodia to Vietnam. He made many friends. He kept in touch with his family through letters and packages.

When off duty, the favorite thing to do with his comrades was drinking, telling stories and singing songs. Dominick's best time there was on Christmas 1968 when Bob Hope and Raquel Welch came to entertain the troops. He was fortunate to sit in the front row, wishing he were Bob Hope. 

One thing he consistently did for good luck was to say his prayers. It helped him get through everything.

While in Vietnam, he rose to the rank of E5 Sergeant.

On returning home from overseas, he had orders to Fort Mead, MD Army Base for his final year. His service has earned him a collection of medals and awards, like the National Defense Service Medal, the Sharpshooter Badge, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

He was able to return home, welcomed by his family and the community at large. It was not hard to transition to civilian life as he returned to work for Ryan Homes for over 30 years as a self-made contractor, along with his home-building and remodeling business.

Upon reflecting on his time in service, there are some benefits and drawbacks. A certain mentality comes with being a soldier, and the anxieties that come with it. On the other hand, his service sharpened his attention to detail and precision in his work and in daily life.

"Every young person should go enlist in a military branch. It makes you grow up and take life as seriously as it deserves, all the while teaching life lessons and skills in all areas."

In conclusion, after returning from the military, he met his soulmate, Lucy Raycroft Adamo. They got married and had three wonderful children, Paul, Lena, and Angela. 

Upon retiring, he moved to North Wilkesboro and joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 1142. He takes care of the grounds, mowing, weed eating and other duties, including Coffee Call, along with his wife Lucy, who takes care of the clean up after each event and function.