Patriot
by Nicola Newton
3/7/2017


Tom,

I've been trying to figure out what words to say to do you justice but there really aren't any. I'll give it a shot anyway:

You are the most patriotic person I've ever known. You loved America man. You loved duty, honor, country more than anyone I've met the last year at West Point. You are so American that you were not only born but buried on July 4th. That's pretty amazing! I wish I could have been there today with the rest of 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Hotel Troop! I will never forget watching the West Point July 4th celebration with you last year! You were smiling and laughing and simply enjoying every moment of that day! I made some sarcastic comment that a birthday at West Point is probably the worst birthday ever and you looked at me and said Are you kidding?! This is the best birthday ever!! Happy birthday brother! I have no doubt you are having the best celebration imaginable in Heaven right now! 

Your almost 19 years of life taught me so much. Im truly blessed to have shared such a large part of my West Point experience with you. Thank you for being a man I could look up to during the worst times. 

I'll miss hearing your buffalo noises in formation. That probably sounds kind of weird. No matter what day of the week or whatever went on that morning, I couldn't help but chuckle when I heard the buff noises! You were always making people smile. I remember asking you one time if you were one of those obnoxious buffalo and you looked at me and flashed a huge grin and replied yup! Every time I see those buff hats or hear those silly noises, I will think of you and smile. Thank you for teaching us all to be passionate and represent every group we are a part of with pride. 

Tommy, you were an incredible beast squad mate, friend, and classmate. I will miss you tremendously and we will carry your spirit with us forever. On land, in the air, and across the oceans. 

Be thou at peace.

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