Thomas E. Van Houten was born February 15,1947, and lived in Nutley, NJ with his parents Bertha and John, and siblings, John Jr., and twin brother, Richard. Thomas graduated from Nutley High School in 1965 and enjoyed bowling.
Van Houten entered the US Army on May 16, 1966 and served in Company C in the 5th battalion of the 9th Infantry Division where he attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC/E3).
On January 24, 1967, Van Houten was killed in action in South Vietnam. He was 19 years old.
He was awarded the Purple Heart.