Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas

 

Randy Greene

1923 - 2012

 

RANDOLPH H. GREENE

Patriot, Chapter 1919

 Aug 2003 Inductee, Wall of Honor, Texas Commission For The Blind

 

Randolph H. Greene was born in Blue Grove, Texas in 1923.  When he was 14, his family moved to Lubbock where he graduated from High School and then worked for two years as a carpenter.  He entered Army active duty in Lubbock on May 21, 1943 and, after completing basic training, was assigned to Company B, 106th Combat Engineer Battalion, 31st Infantry Division.

 

The 31st Infantry Division shipped out on February 10, 1944, and arrived in the Southwest Pacific, at Oro Bay, New Guinea, on March 17, 1944.   The division next conducted a landing at Maffin Bay in Northern New Guinea and engaged in continuing combat operations in that area. On September 15, 1944 the 31st Infantry Division participated in the invasion of Morotai Island where the establishment of a forward air base on that island was part of General MacArthur’s plans for the coming re-conquest of the Philippines.

 

Randy was wounded on Morotai on November 20, 1944 when an exploding landmine caused injuries to both eyes and wounds to his face, chest, and right arm.  He was Medevac’d back to the United States for extensive treatment and rehabilitation.  He was at Dibble Army General Hospital in California for one year and finally was discharged from the Army from a convalescent hospital in Avon, Connecticut in May 1946.  During his eighteen months hospitalization he married his fiancée, Viola Burton.

 

Randolph Greene returned home to Lubbock, Texas as a blinded, disabled veteran, but this only marked the beginning of a career in which he has accumulated a long and remarkable series of professional, social and personal accomplishments.

 

Randy enrolled at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) in Lubbock.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree there in 1951, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in blind rehabilitation while also qualifying for a high school teaching certificate.

 

In 1959, Randy was employed by the Texas Commission for the Blind as a rehabilitation counselor and assigned to the Lubbock office.  Five years later, he was promoted to a supervisory position and transferred to the Commission Headquarters in Austin, where he would serve another ten years.  He steadily progressed in positions of increasing responsibility including Counselor, Supervisor of Training and Research, Supervisor of Training and Staff Development, Director of Rehabilitation Center planning, and service as the first administrator of the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center.  During his service with the commission, his key accomplishments included, development of a greater degree of cooperation between the Texas Commission for the Blind and the Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, he was part of the team that produced the first federal study on the need for a state rehabilitation center for the blind, and he was the author of the first personnel manual for TCB employees.

 

Early in 1974, the VA Director of Blind Rehab Services selected Randolph Greene as the new Waco VA Blind Rehab Center director.  In 1979, he became the first blinded veteran ever appointed to head the Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST), and he later retired from the government service from that assignment.

 

During all of his professional career with the Texas Commission for the Blind and with the Department of Veterans Affairs he also generously devoted himself to volunteer service with local and regional groups associated in various ways with benefiting the disabled and blind.  Randy Greene is a past president of the North Texas Chapter of the Blinded Veterans Association and later was president of the Greater Houston Regional Group.  He has served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Rehabilitation Association.  Randy is a member of the American Association of Workers for the Blind and he has been active in many other veterans organizations.  He holds life memberships in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans, the Blinded Veterans Association and the Visually Impaired Veterans of America.  Throughout his years of service, he has been the recipient of numerous honors for his many achievements.

 

In 1975, Randolph Greene was named by Governor Dolph Briscoe as the “Texas Handicapped Person of the Year;” and in 1976 he was named “Veteran of the Year” by the Disabled American Veterans.  During his time with the VA in Waco, Randy was chosen “Handicapped Wacoan of the Year” by the Waco Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped and, he received honors as “Mr. Mental Health for McLennan County.”  In 2003, he became only the eighth person ever to be named to the “Wall Of Honor” of the Texas Commission For The Blind; following which, his life story was published in Dialogue Magazine.

 

On August 19, 2006, Randolph Greene was honored in Buffalo, New York at the National Convention of the Blinded Veterans Association with their highest award, the Major General Melvin J. Maas award for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Randy, who was in attendance to receive the award, was proudly accompanied by Viola and their three daughters, Sharla Masso, Betty Pouge, and Linda Anderson.

 

Randy and Viola Greene, in their 61st year of marriage at the time of this article, also have six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Randy passed away December 14, 2012.

 

Randy's Certificate of Honor
Randy as he Entered the Service
Randy attended the Texas Purple Heart Dedication
Randy Earned This

Randy Awarded the Annual Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award

By the Blinded Veterans Association

AUGUST 2006

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