Army Specialist Will Thomas has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Thomas, now medically retired, and his wife Shanelle, were surprised just days before Thanksgiving by the Texas Sentinels Foundation Board of Directors and RE/MAX 1st Source realty company in Deer Park, with the notification that they would be receiving a 100%, debt-free, 100% mortgage-free, fully furnished, ADA compliant TSF home in the Deer Park, Texas area in early 2017. Two of the Deer Park TSF home team leaders from RE/MAX 1st Source, Melissa Shechter and Kimberly Stephens, stated “We are overwhelmed by the support of the community already 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. “
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 3 1/2 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 in February 2016, 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 training as a competitive swimmer for the Para Olympics and hopes to start a family soon. His wife Shanelle, graduated from radiology school in May 2016 and has been a constant source of love, motivation and encouragement. Once they move to Deer Park, Texas both look forward to fishing, golfing and enjoying the wide open spaces in Texas.
If you, your business or civic organization would like to help with raising funds and/or supplying the items needed for the Thomas home, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 281-727-6997/832-266-0007. The home team leaders can be reached directly at email@example.com or at 281-839-5584.
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.