On Friday the DoD announced the death of a Navy SEAL who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The public announcement of a Navy SEAL is uncommon enough to note.
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Collin Thomas, 33, of Morehead, Ky., died Aug. 18 during a combat operation in eastern Afghanistan. Thomas was assigned to an east coast-based SEAL team.Virginia's WAVY 10 has a detailed article about Chief Petty Officer Collin Thomas worth reading. This was no ordinary sailor.
"Collin Thomas was a brave American patriot and an incredibly gifted Navy SEAL. His tireless professionalism, inspiring passion for life, and humble demeanor made him a role model for all who knew him. We are deeply saddened by this tremendous loss of a brother in arms," said a senior officer in his command. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the Thomas family during this very difficult time, and we will never forget the ultimate sacrifice that Collin made while protecting our nation and his teammates."If you don't understand the significance of the medals, citations, and decorations listed in the last paragraph - let’s just say Rambo would be envious. I pray that God comforts the family of this extraordinary man.
Thomas is survived by his parents Clayton and Paula, who live in Hertford, North Carolina, his sister Meghan of Morehead, Kentucky, and his fiancée Sarah Saunders of Virginia Beach.
The Navy says Thomas was a highly-decorated combat veteran and received numerous awards and citations during his 13-year Navy career, including two Bronze Star Medals with combat "V" distinguishing device; a Purple Heart; a Joint Service Commendation Medal with combat "V" distinguishing device; a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; Two Combat Action Ribbons (Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom); Four Good Conduct Medals; the National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars; Iraq Campaign Medal; Marksmanship medals with "expert" service device for both rifle and pistol, and a multitude of personal, unit, and campaign decorations.