Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Master Sgt. Thomas R. Thigpen, Sr.

52, of Augusta, Georgia.
Thigpen died in Camp Virginia, Kuwait (north of Kuwait City), of non-combat related injuries. He was assigned to the Army National Guard, 151st Signal Battalion, Greenville, South Carolina. Died on March 16, 2004.

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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Thank you Mr. Elliot.
I strive everyday to be the kind of man my father was and what he wanted me to be. Your words help remind me that helping someone else is far more rewarding than doing for myself.
Thank you Sir,
Thomas R Thigpen Jr"
Tommy of Augusta, GA

"I came from Iraq, for a meeting at camp Doha in Kuwait.Me and two others were tired and dirty,we asked if they had room for us and they said we could use cots in a large room were they had people working.
MSG Thigpen found out we were from SC and he took use to where his company slept and gave us beds to sleep in,they were the first beds we had slept in since we had arrived few months before.He also made sure our stay there for those few days were good always asking if we need anything.
I will never forget the kindness he showed to me,and he made that trip a stress reliever for me,which i so badly needed.
I remember that time to this day,and if his family ever reads this ,he was a leader who cared for the well being of all who came in touch with him.
I will never forget the kindness he showed us."
Joel Elliott of Lexington sc

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we care.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"March 21, 2009
To the family of Master Sgt. Thomas R. Thigpen, Sr.:
Thomas gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Still missing you Pop."

"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay that day,
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Task undone must stay that way.
I found peace at the close of the day.
If my parting left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Ah, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with time of sorrow.
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one touched.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,
but don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me.
God wanted me now, He set me free!"
(Author Unknown)
America has been built on the blood of Brave Men of Honor. Heros who answered the call to defend all of our Freedoms. A fellow Veteran pays tribute to your commitment to duty and the ultimate sacrifice you have made for us. Thank you. May you rest well in Gods loving embrace Brave soldier, and may peace come to your family and loved ones for the sacrifice they made also."
William Darby Taylor Jr. of Bonita Springs Florida

"To the family of Thomas R. Thigpen Sr.:

I live in Augusta and my heart goes out to your family. I consider myself to be very patriotic and I love our military.

I have written two poems about our country and the great men & women who have served and the ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Please send me an e-mail or call me and I can send you & your family a copy.

My e-mail address is micahcornett@comcast.net
My phone number is 706.627.3091.
You are welcome to make contact with me at any time.
Micah Cornett
Evans, GA"
Micah Cornett of Evans, GA

"To the family of:Thomas R. Thigpen,Sr. I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"To honor the Georgia soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the Atlanta Fine Arts League are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family. These 16 X 20” original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrifices made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families’ loss. Please visit our website www.atlantafineartsleague.org or email us at AtlantaFineArtsLeague@Yahoo.com for further information. –The Atlanta Fine Arts League"
Geraldine Zaki of Lawrenceville, GA

"MSG Thigpen,
It hard to accept you are not with us anymore. The Army and the world is less of a place without you, but I am better off for having known and worked with you. Thank you for your support and hard work. You could always be counted on to get the job done and take care of your soldiers. And it showed by how much they cared for you too. You are missed.
"Thunderbirds Lead the Way!""
MSG William West of Hohenfels, Germany

"Tom, We wanted you to know that your greatly missed. Thank you for serving our country."
The Albright family of Hephzibah GA.

"Tom we miss you so much that words cant say enough,but you will always be in our hearts

love always Stacy,Leigh,Amanda,Steven"
stacy rabun of Wrens GA.


"MSG Thigpen,
I visited you on Wednesday. I took a rubbing of your gravesite to keep with me at work. I needed to visit I guess more to just see your really gone. I miss you like crazy. I can't believe it's been a year. Theresa and I shared stories about you. It was so much fun talking about you. I told her about you at my birthday party and I won't say it on here but she laughed a lot. It was a good day but we both missed you being there. I don't know why but I feel like writing you on here helps. I know your doing well and finally happy! I love and miss you daily. Goodbye!"
Courtney Hughey of Greenville, SC

sgt. james matteson of celoron,n.y.


As a coworker and friend there are days that I still look to you for guidance and wonder how you would handle a situation. I know you would laugh at some things, shrug them off or offer words of encouragement when things weren’t so right. . . . I miss you most when I think about retirement and the race to see who had the higher service comp date. I knew most of the time you were joking because you loved to come to work and contribute every day . . . . You were most proud of your role as a soldier and this is what most of us who worked with you in the civilian world saw . . . a dedicated soldier proud to serve his country. And this you did, so admirably! Above all else, we also knew how much you loved your family and were so proud of them.

It is an honor to have known and worked with you."
Annice of Augusta, GA

"Please be praying for Tom Thigpen’s family, Theresa, Tommy, Tammy, son-in-law Robbie and the grand daughters, M&M” Morgan & Madison. Tom gave his life for our country. He was just 52 however he was one of the oldest services members there. He was activated to full time Army 2 years ago 2/6/02. He was 3 months from 20 years in the guard and had planned to retire. At the time of his reactivation he had worked as a civilian at Ft. Gordon, Augusta, GA. for 30 years as a instructor in the Signal school and various other fields. Prior to his civilian job he spent 4 years as a Marine, some of that time in VN.

Jim, my husband, first met Tom in 1975 or ’76 at the signal school and we became fast friends. Tom and Jim loved to play golf, talk shop, and on the week ends a bunch of us would gather to watch TV or play cards. We were younger then. In some ways it seems just like yesterday. Jim gave him the nick name of Thigie and I called him Thigiepo. We were sent to Germany and I would address his letters, “To Thigiepo” . He kept the nick name Thigie all his life. When we were transferred back to Gordon the friendship became stronger. Tom was married and had 2 children. We also had a child about 1 year older then Tommy. We were stationed there 3 more years. That was the last time I saw Tom. Jim spent some time with them when he returned to Gordon for some training. It was a joy to know Tom. He was quiet, a bit reserved, however he had a great sense of dry humor and when you made friends with Tom and Theresa you were friends for life. Tom loved God, his family and his country. Remember all our service members but also remember their families when you pray.

Sandra & Jim Foster"
Jim & Sandra Foster of Denton, TX.

Thank you Thomas for defending us all! Reading these pages I am struck with your love of God and family. I know in my heart that when your loved ones close their eyes for the last time, standing there smiling with open arms will be their Thomas. God Bless you and may He bring comfort to your loved one. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"Mrs. Teresa Thigpen about Tom.
My wife and I did had the privilige in knowing Tom briefly. We did noticed your husband loved in assisting his wife in her Ministry obligations and endeavors. We last saw Tom in his last pass from active duty one Sunday morning at Church.
It did saddens our hearts to see him gone so quickly. He was a Men of God and he love his soldiers and his country. A men of few words but with significant ones. He's smile,illuminated the place where he was. We are certain that one day we'll see him once again in the fellowship of Saints.
Mrs. Thigpen my wife and I enjoyed your fellowship,when we used to lived in Augusta,GA. We will continue to pray for you and your family. May God bless you and continue to guide you on His road of victory."
Carlos A. & Evelyn Lopez of Dallas, Texas,USA

"There can be no greater proof of the kind of man Thomas was than the legacy he left behind of friends and family. The love and respect that he still receives from his fellow soldiers and the strength of his family in the time since he left us is a strong reminder that he will never really be gone. Although I know that his family will miss him every day, I also know that the lessons he taught so many will be remembered every day. Emerson said that 'To Know even One Life Has Breathed easier Because YOU have Lived' is to be a success. I know that Thomas was a very successful man."
Patti of Anderson, SC

"Of all the people I've ever met, Brother Tom was definately an honorable man, being true and faithful to his wife, family, and friends, and also serving his country to the best of his abilities. He is one man I will never forget, for his true patriotism and humbling presence. I wish I could have known him better but in time I will get another chance when we meet again in heaven."
Gracie of Augusta, Georgia

"MSG Thigpen was my platoon sergeant during our deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tom was an outstanding NCO, a leader who inspired followers, a loving husband and father, a devoted friend, and above all, a man whom everyone looked up to and admired. It was an honor to serve by his side, a pleasure to benefit from his wisdom, and a blessing to have had him in my life. Tom, you were a great friend and patriot. I miss you, and will have you with me always."
1Lt. Scott A. Shelley of Florence, SC

There are not words to explain how I feel, just knowing that you are not here hurts. I know that you did what you felt was the right thing to do. I just wanted to say that I miss you."

You were not only a excellant soldier but a wonderful friend! I count it an honor to have served with you in the Army National guard. I count it an even bigger honor that we were friends! I don't really have a story to tell about you because we always just talked about our families and how much they meant to us, and National Guard business. One thing I can tell though is you were always willing to help anyone and go the extra mile for family, duty, and country! I am proud to have known you and I know you are serving our Lord Jesus Christ well as we speak. I miss you but will see you again soon."
Melissa of Inman, SC

"Tom Thigpen,Father, son, husband, friend, He was a true man among men.
He served his country with pride and with love, a hero from beginning to end.
I knew Tom in a social setting, he was funny and lovable to a fault,
At Keenager meetings, he would hide behind Theresa, trying hard not to get caught.
I remember once, he was asked to dress in a really unflattering way,
He agreed , we all had a good laugh, but Tom had nothing to say.
Tom, we all love you and miss you,and your memory will always burn bright,
You would be so proud of Theresa,she's hanging on with all of her might.
God Bless you, Theresa,
Your Sister in Christ,
Glenda Thomas"
Glenda Thomas of Hephzibah, Ga.

"There are men with strength you can see even before he speaks. Tom was
this kind of man, you didn't hear much from him but you could look and
see this man of God was ready to defend his God and his country. He
was a dear brother in the Lord and God favored him when he took him
home. We miss his smile, and one day when we all gather around the big
table God has prepared for His children we will be able to see that
same smile as he waits for each of us to make it.
God bless you Theresa as you follow the plan God has placed before you."
Ken & Dahlia McCoy of Hephzibah Ga.

""To Thomas Thigpen and Family.
It is hard to put into words to describe my sadness to get a call that day in March that you was not coming home to be with your family and church family.
I think of you alot and come by to see you everytime I stop by to see my dad just across the way from you there at Hillcrest. I respect you and any American
that will put on that uniform and answer the call of duty. It is for men like Thomas Thigpen and all the others that will go and defend our great nation so
that all of our kids and grand kids will have freedom and liberties that Tom himself enjoyed here in the States. Thank You for that Tom! I take comfort and it gives me peace to know I will
see you again. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
Robbie Lee (Bubba) Warren of Warren Ranch Keysville, Ga. USA

"For Thomas R. Thigpen,
Upon hearing that you were going to Iraq, we were saddened that you would be away from your friends and mostly your family, but we felt such a sense of pride. You were "Our" soldier, "Our" hero, going off to fight in the war. We were so proud to know you.
When you came home in December, I was so honored to be able to visit you and hear from your own mouth the details of what was really happening in Iraq and Kuwait. I was amazed at the close calls that had been experienced by you and the other men. It prompted me to increase my prayers for you.
When we heard that you were no longer with us, we were devastated at the news. We wondered how this could happen when you were so close to arriving back home with your family and friends. We were all so anxiously waiting for you to come back, in just a few short days. It was so exciting to hear Theresa tell of the plans that were being made for the arrival of all of the men.
As I sat at your funeral, and was honored to very humbly provide music for this grand service, I was saddened at our loss of your life, yet I was once again so proud. I realized that even in your death, you were still "Our" soldier, and "Our" hero.
We are so grateful to you for the sacrifice you made in leaving your family and friends. We are grateful to you for the bravery you exhibited every day that you were in Iraq and Kuwait. I am grateful to you for sharing with me first hand about what was really happening in the war. We are grateful to you for the wonderful family you left behind. And we are grateful to you for allowing us the opportunity to know you and experience an even greater sense of pride in our country and those who sacrifically serve the USA. God bless the memory of Thomas R. Thigpen and the price he paid for us all."
Denise and Gerry Mundy of Evans, Georgia USA

"Upon hearing the news of Tom, our hearts suddenly shattered. He was a brother in Christ, a friend no one can replace. He was one of the "Hiking Guys" and will always remain one. We miss him, but take great comfort in knowing that we will see him again. He has won the race."
Mike & Brenda Padgett of Augusta GA

We would love to see you sitting in your normal seat in church or to just get to see you period. I realize that isn't possible so we look forward to the day that we will see you on the other side of glory. Love ,Allen and Nicole"
Allen and Nicole Cliff of Augusta, GA

"I have known Thomas Thigpen for a number of years. In my memory,I can see him sitting in church with his family. He was a faithful man to God, his family and to his country. He was very proud to be of service to his country and welcomed each opportunity to do so. What a great legacy Tom has left for his family, coworkers, and friends."
Rev. William E. Mundy of Hephzibah, Georgia

"In memory of a man that loved God & country; who was a loving husband & father, a caring friend & faithful to his church. We miss you."
Jeannine & Roy Baldwin of Grovetown, GA USA

"I served as the Casualty Assistance Officer to the Thigpen family when MSG Thigpen passed away. I never knew MSG Thigpen personally, but developed a great respect for him simply by getting to know the family and friends he loved so much while he was here. MSG Thigpen touched many people during his life, and left each one of them feeling like they were important, special, and needed. Through his death, he has continued to touch many of us, reminding us of what really matters most in this life. He was truly a remarkable man, and will be missed. Rest assured Tom, your work will not be in vain nor forgotten, the struggle will continue, and we will be victorious.
MSG Thigpen and others like him, who have gone before and will doubtless continue the struggle, devoted their lives to a cause greater than themselves, and my family and I are sincerely thankful.
MSG Thigpen, well done soldier, rest in God's grace. I pray that God will bless your family and friends, and that they will find peace and comfort in the arms of our Lord."
Christopher J. Britt and Family of Fort Huachuca, AZ

"MSG Thigpen was my mentor and best friend in the 151st Signal Battalion. I AM one of his soldiers. MSG Thigpen meant the world to me and is the best man I have ever known. He taught me how to be a better person, a better friend, and a better soldier. I miss him more then I can express and I think of him everyday. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers and to the Thigpen Family, I love you more then you know and thank you so much for letting me share in your memories."
SPC Courtney Hughey of Easley, SC

"Hey Babe, you are my hero, I miss you. I will love you always.
Thank you for loving our country to give your life for it.
Your wife."
Theresa Thigpen of Augusta Ga. USA

"To my daddy:

I will forever miss you in my heart, dreams and day to day activities! You are my true hero!"
Tammy Thomas of Acworth, GA

"We love you, Tom. We miss you. Your service to our country and to us is so greatly appreciated. We grieve with your family that you are no longer with us, but you are in a place so wonderful that we know not how great or marvelous!"
Your friends, Kathy & Thurman Carpenter of Clarkesville, Georgia, Habersham County

"To the family and loved ones of MSG Thomas Thigpen, please accept our gratitude for your service to the United States of America. You will never be forgotten. -- Larry, Donna, Elizabeth & Mary Keeler."
Larry Keeler of Phoenix, Az.

"Sergeant Thigpen, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Thank you to the Thigpen family for supporting your American Hero during his service to our country."
A gratefull Soldier of Alabama

"To the friends and family of Master Sgt.
Thomas Thigpen,

Our hearts and prayers go out to his friends and family members. Know that he is in god's grace now and he is going to be truly missed. Although I never knew him as a person he was a fellow brother to my husband Spc. E. Hernandez, National Guards Dover, NJ also Camp Virginia, Iraq and on his behalf and on the behalf of all the soldiers of Camp Virginia, Iraq we send you our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends, of Sgt. Thigpen.
Fondly, The Hernandez familiy and the soldiers of Camp Virginia, Iraq."
Carmen Hernandez of Paterson, NJ

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering all your family and loved ones
in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Thomas , will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Thomas Thigpen, Sr., you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Master Sgt. Thomas Thigpen, Sr.:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Thomas for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Master Sgt. Thomas Thigpen, Sr.:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Thomas, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on