Travis Lee Higginbotham

Travis Lee Higginbotham

Nickname:  N/A

Employer during Enewetak Atoll Atomic Cleanup Mission:  Army

Rank:  O-2 2LT Second Lieutenant

Job Title: 21B Combat Engineer – Platoon Leader

Unit: A Company, 84th Engineer Battalion

Enewetak Atoll TDY Tour:  11/21/1977 – 5/3/1978

Island Lived on at Enewetak Atoll:  Enewetak

Islands Worked on at Enewetak Atoll:  Enewetak & Lojwa

Description of Work Performed:  Platoon Leader for 3rd Shop, A Company. We performed all the heavy equipment maintenance of Wheeled Vehicles and Engineer Equipment for all elements of the 84th Engineer Battalion on Enewetak Atoll. We also maintained all Generators and sent Contact Trucks to various work site throughout the Atoll. We supported the LARCs detachment, the Air Force and the Navy. Our machine shop could make anything you wanted. Our group had an attachment of Seabees assigned who could do Depot Level Maintenance (ie: tear an engine down to its components and rebuild it.) Believe it or not, we also repaired the washing machines and dryers on the atoll.

Health Challenges which may be related to Radiation Exposure:  None

Comments about Health Challenges: None

Veterans Administration Health Assistance: TRICARE

Experiences with the Veterans Administration:  I have had a good experience with the VA. Fortunately I have other healthcare insurance and those things that I can’t get at the VA I go thru my private healthcare provider. Generally I get my flu shots and annual physicals at the VA. It was recommended that I have a skin cancer screening and the VA has only one dermatologist. So the wait time was at least 6 months. I ended up going thru my family doctor and getting my screening done. If I have any criticism of the VA it would be not referring to outside providers to get health issues resolved rather than depending totally on in house resources. This causes too much delay.

Current Residence: Blue Springs, Missouri

Contributions towards accomplishing Our Current Mission:

Photos: N/A

Our main focus is to help each other with information and moral support during challenging times.

Our secondary focus is to urge Congress to change the current laws and recognize soldiers of the atomic cleanup mission as “veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service.”

Do you know Travis Lee Higginbotham? Do you know an Atomic Cleanup Veteran? Are you an Atomic Cleanup Veteran? Are you willing to help us accomplish our mission? Share your comments below!

7 thoughts on “Travis Lee Higginbotham

  1. Hey Lt. I see you don’t live that far from me. I was just talking with John Long (welder) and was looking on the site and saw your name. I don’t see Dick Darvy on the Roster and the last time I saw him was at Ft. Ord in 1986. He was the DISCOM CSM. I also stayed in till 1997 and retired a CW3 here right outside Ft. Leonard Wood. Enewetak brings back so may memories. I remember walking on the reef at night at low tide picking hundreds of calories and cleaning them and shipping them home. I still have boxes of them. The most memorable thing was being evacuated to Guam for the hurricane for a few days.

    • Gary good to hear from you. I can still remember your face and how I was always impressed with the way you did your job. I seem to remember we talked about you becoming a Warrant Officer. The only person I saw that was in the platoon was SSG Cleater. I went and visited with him when I got back to Hawaii. Maybe “Pineapple” can’t remember his real name at Ft Rucker was the only other guy. I was stationed at Ft Leonard Wood from 1983 to 1987. I was XO for 589th EN BN, 2d Training BDE. I had a house right outside the South gate of the fort. I sold it in 2015. I rented it out after I PCSd to Ft Dix. I have very good memories of Enewetak and remember you very well. Remember CW3 Johnson having a blood clot in his brain when he was at the Navy ramp. Never heard how he made out. 1SG Darvy what a character. He did a good job straightening me out. I think he cleared out the office once a week and we talked it out. I will never forget him. The last couple of months of my tour we really clicked together. Remember Sp4 Carpo he was another troop I really thought had his shit together. Well good to hear from you.

  2. Served under Lt. in the motor pool as a welder for my six months of duty.

    • I just looked at the roster and was wondering why my name was highlighted and noticed your remarks. How are you doing? I have many fond memories of our time there and I remember you. I have pictures of you and SP5 Spivy working on the crane. One of the members on this site Al Gettier worked on Runit at the crater and he said they used that pulley you and Spivy built and worked very well. You are the first guy I have run into that I was with over there. I ended up making a career of the Army and retired in 1996.

      • Just seen your reply. Must check on this more often. Good to hear you are doing OK Lt. I myself left the isle, went home, worked for post office, now retired. What a opportunity we had there, remember times there and people that I met. You do not reside far from me, I am your neighbor, here in Kansas. Hope to hear more from you and others, love this site. Take care sir. God bless.

  3. I am the very happy wife of a Lojwa Animal. We have been married 33 years. We met a couple of days after his discharge from the army. We have had many challenges throughout our life together. We were blessed with 3 beautiful boys. Now after discovering my husbands cancer diagnosis. We have come to the realization that the cancer was from being exposed to ionizing radiation and agent orange. That also explains some of the Heath issues our children experienced. This is a great group and I hope everyone gets what they deserve in regards to adequate health care and hopefully their benefits. May god bless all of us who have foreseen some of the ailments that were caused from being exposed to such toxic substances.

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