Army Specialist Will Thomas and his wife Shanelle roared into town with an escort from Texas Rolling Thunder Honor Guard, the Deer Park Police and Fire Department and their RE/MAX 5 Star Home Team leaders on Monday 9/11/2017. TSF Board members, donors, sponsors, City of Deer Park mayor, DPFD, DPPD and members of Deer Park JROTC, cheerleaders and escorts showed their Texas size spirit as they awaited the arrival of Will Thomas. After 4 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and more than 40 surgeries, a 100% debt-free, fully furnished, ADA compliant 2300SF home in Deer Park Texas on a shady, tree lined street was unveiled as their new home.
An added surprise from our Power A Hero partners, CenterPoint Energy and Fish Electric was the addition of a Kohler power generator that will provide unlimited safety and security. Mission K-9 Rescue was also present today to award Will Thomas a Military Working Dog service dog complete with training sessions. The city wide team effort on 9/11/2017, reminds us all of our wounded veteran’s resilience. As always, Texas Rolling Thunder served as the honor escort and provided veteran to veteran mentorship to many of our TSF home recipients.
Thomas a native of Nashville, Tennessee, joined the Army in February 2009 after a brief stint in college. In 2011, Thomas deployed with his Sapper unit to Afghanistan. Thomas served as a combat engineer/12B. In 2012, while conducting combat operations as a gunner on an RG33 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan Specialist Thomas was hit by an 180 pound Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The blast resulted in shattering his right leg and ankle, severe head and back trauma, shoulder injuries, a torn rotator cuff and many more internal injuries. Thomas was evacuated to Bagram Airbase, then to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany before being flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. where he would remain for more than 4 years.
Specialist Thomas had his right leg amputated above the knee, endured major blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and 45 life threatening infections. At the time of his medical retirement, Will had just completed his 35th surgery.
Specialist Thomas’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Army Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Accommodation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Looking to the future, Will is concentrating on a degree in Business and will begin training as a competitive swimmer for the Para Olympics. Will’s wife Shanelle, graduated from radiology school in May 2016 and has been a constant source of love, motivation and encouragement. Once they are settled in their new home in Deer Park, both look forward to fishing, golfing and enjoying the wide open spaces in Texas.
Two of the Deer Park TSF home team leaders from RE/MAX 5 Star, Melissa Shechter and Kimberly Stephens, stated “We are overwhelmed by the support of the community and look forward to having a military hero living amongst us in our wonderful city. We look forward to honoring Will for his service and patriotism to this great nation. We can never do enough for our young men and women severely wounded during the course of serving our country. “ Learn more about Will Thomas and the Texas Sentinels Foundation by visiting texassentinels.org.
The Texas Sentinels Foundation is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) not for profit. Our mission is to provide life changing opportunities to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have suffered severe injuries and now are in need of the support of grateful communities to realize their dreams. All donations remain within the state of Texas. Funds can be donor designated upon request. Visit us at texassentinels.org or follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TexasSentinelsFoundation.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
M & L Construction
T & L Distributing
RE/MAX of Texas
RE/MAX 5 Star
Keystone Concrete Placement
La Porte Rotary
Pearland Lions Club
Katy Masonic Lodge 1439
Ron Austin Blinds
Fluor Corporation Sugar Land
Rolling Thunder Texas Chapter Two
David and Tammy Douglas
Bill & Judy Meridith
Studio Vos Photography
North American Title
Bryan and Bryan Inspections
ARK Generator Services
Generator Power Systems/Fish Electric
Personalized Power Systems
Jim & Yvonne Fish
Honoring Our Wounded Military, Inc.
Semper Fi Fund | America’s Fund