SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network

SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network (
-   Members Who Gave All (
-   -   The passing of tommyboy52 (

MixedLoad 5 June 2015 01:27

My condolences, Andi. Stick around, we're here for you.

Rest in Peace.

Sharky 5 June 2015 09:12

[QUOTE=travelcoord;1058480249]To all who wrote me about SSG Thomas Rhoads - my hero and partner, I am overwhelmed by the outreach from the military community at his beautiful, awe-inspiring service at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies yesterday, June 2, 2015. But when I was tapped on the shoulder by a member of SOCNET who had come to the service, I was overwhelmed.

Your community was one Tom found the elusive camaraderie he'd known in his Team 555, and the solace of being present with those who knew. Simply that. I was happy he'd been a member of your forum, and it was yesterday, meeting Ace at the funeral, when I knew I wasn't alone.

I've traveled most of the day today to return home.
It's been lonely, to say the least - so thank you for "holding onto me" for now. It helps more than you all know.

Andi (travelcoord)[/QUOTE]

Welcome to the SOCNET family, Andi.

KidA 5 June 2015 11:13

[QUOTE=travelcoord;1058480249]But when I was tapped on the shoulder by a member of SOCNET who had come to the service, I was overwhelmed. [/QUOTE]

This is what this community does. It's an honor to be amongst them and, as others have said, you are welcome. Reach out if you need to when you need to, without giving it a second thought.

travelcoord 5 June 2015 23:00

Gentle Men (because you are), brothers of Tom - I am grateful, beyond words. If I may, share Tom's committal service with you, it was awe-inspiring, and, at the same time, difficult to handle (understatement). The Patriot Guard Riders escorted our three vehicles from a suburb of Pittsburgh, some 40 minutes, to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, PA. The riders formed the escort with motorcycles in front, and motorcycles behind. They flew colors, and funeral procession flags, as did we, so as to try to keep other vehicles out of our group. When we arrived at the National Cemetery, we were met by a Veteran's Administration rep, who briefed us in protocol. I had also had a call the day before from the Ft. Meade Honors Office, one of the Army personnel assigned to escort Tom, to brief me.
As we made our way by car, when directed, to the Committal Shelter, Tom's ashes, and his flag, were handed to the 2 Honors Army personnel.
A contingent of the local American Legion/VFW had formed a column on the walkway outside the shelter, and the Patriot Guard Riders also stood with them to form quite a beautiful contingent, at attention. We, the family, were directed to proceed through the column, into the shelter where the Army Honors personnel had placed Tom, and his flag on a draped table. We were directed to specific seats by the V.A. rep.

Once all seated (and at that point, I was unaware that Ace, from SOCNET, was there) the Army Chaplain began to speak. He spoke to Tom, and to us, assuring all that Tommy was now in the hands of God, and of his (and all military) dedication to his country. He said that Tom was now protected, and safe. Then, quite suddenly, the Chaplain, near the end of the service, shouted at the top of his voice: "JOB WELL DONE, SIR", and saluted Tom. My control was tested, to be sure.
It was then that the Honors Army personnel took the flag from the table and began the folding ceremony, which was astounding. The, deliberation and very specific arm movements and hand movements was incredible to watch. Once they neared the end of folding the flag, the Chaplain brought 3 unspent rifle cartridges, which were placed inside the folds of the flag. They Army personnel then finished the folding ceremony, and presented the flag to Tom's brother.

At that point, the 21 gun salute began, followed by Taps, followed by the presentation of the now spent cartridges from the 21 gun salute, to Tom's brother. The Patriot Guard Riders captain, then presented a beautiful engraved plaque to me, and to Tom's brother, and rejoined the column. I, and Tom's brother, were then directed to approach Tom's urn and speak, silently, to Tommy, and then file out through the column of VFW/American Legion, the Honors Office Army personnel, and the Patriot Guard Riders.

At the end of the column, when we were dispersing to our cars, was when Ace approached me to identify himself. Hell, I lost it then. But, so it goes. SOCNET was one of the places where Tom felt most at home - and Ace's appearance showed me something incredible in the brotherhood you all share and keep. That you STILL guard and honor each other, have each other's back, active or not, and that it's forever. And quite a different thing than just "coworkers", or "friends"....

If I had ever understood SOME of this while with Tom all these years (and I tried hard to "get" it), June 2nd, 2015, and you all here on SOCNET, brought a far stronger understanding to me - which is comfort.
Again, thank you... I'll keep reading and maybe, sometimes, seeking a better grasp of this by posting - from you, his brothers.
Andi, with respect.

The Fat Guy 5 June 2015 23:35


Thank you for sharing Tom's story and letting us have him here, even for a little while.

God Bless and Godspeed.

Mac 8 June 2015 18:37

Thank you for sharing Andi. I hope you can find comfort here on Socnet. This site is like no other. It helps many like myself stay connected, and sometimes even grounded.

Like MixedLoad said, stick around. You will be welcomed and hopefully find some comfort.


travelcoord 13 June 2015 20:16

You've all been so kind with your outreach to me, I do read most everyday, it helps just knowing you're "out there". :-) Thought I'd share some photos of Tom's service - it WAS awesome - as awesome as something like that can be. (I hope these links work).
[IMG][/IMG], [url][/url] , [IMG][/IMG]
Enjoy your weekend...

travelcoord 13 June 2015 20:19

One more...the link didn't seem to get thru...


KidA 14 June 2015 16:24

Thanks for sharing and letting us be there by proxy.

Doc P 14 June 2015 21:16

Godspeed Tom and sorry for your loss Andi.

There First 17 June 2015 09:14

RIP Sir.

LawnDart7051 17 June 2015 13:31

RIP Sir and sorry for your loss Andi .

Ole crusty bastard 17 June 2015 15:24

Andi, your loss is felt by all.

Rest easy, Tommyboy52.

just11b 18 June 2015 05:18

Rest In Peace, Warrior.
I am very sorry for your loss Andi.

Decon 20 June 2015 22:22


travelcoord 1 July 2015 19:36

To all here a very happy July 4th. Without you, we wouldn't have this celebration -- and the freedom it proclaims.


Tripletabhopeful 17 July 2015 01:14

R.i.p SSG may you rest peacefully and may your family find peace.

Ace 10 October 2015 16:55


Just a quick note to say I hope things are going well and that Socnet has not forgotten.

SOTB 10 October 2015 17:30

I'm saddened to see the contents/cause of this thread again -- but I thank Ace for doing so....

The Fat Guy 10 October 2015 19:48


travelcoord 30 October 2015 20:28

Gentlemen - thank you for remembering Tom. His birthday is November 10th, day before Veteran's Day, and I will travel to Pittsburgh a few days before, so that I can honor him at the Cemetery of the Alleghenies, view his now-installed plaque, and visit his friends and family. And....try to spend some time where he last was.....
Thank you....thank you.

travelcoord 10 November 2015 23:43

You are all heroes to me, as Tom was. In my humble opinion, one day of official honor in this country will never be enough...but it is tomorrow, and my gratitude goes to you all for defending me, our country and our freedom.

KidA 11 November 2015 01:06


Remington Raider 11 November 2015 10:49

I was away when this thread was posted. SOCnet is the shizzle. RIP soldier.

travelcoord 11 December 2015 18:58

Just to say that I wish you ALL the best of holiday seasons - be it CONUS or OCONUS - please be safe, share some smiles with others, and that we are ever grateful for your dedication and protection.

The Fat Guy 11 December 2015 19:30


Merry Christmas and Godspeed.

CPTAUSRET 11 December 2015 20:07

[QUOTE=The Fat Guy;1058527932]Andi,

Merry Christmas and Godspeed.[/QUOTE]

What he said!:smile:

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:50.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved