Today's post is by friend & Charter Member of Team STORMBRINGER codename LUNAR SPOOK - honors to a brave member of America's Warrior Class.
Respect, - S.L.
During my last tour to Iraq (2009-2010) I had the pleasure of serving with a Law Enforcement Professional (LEP) Tom Boyle.
Tom was a Vietnam Veteran (USMC) and a 30 year veteran of the Chicago PD. He retired at the rank of Captain, which is the highest rank a policeman can serve without being a political appointee. Tom would have none of that and decided to retire in order to spend more time with his family.
After his only son graduated college and 'Momma' was fully involved in the daily commitments of running a small business Tom funded for her, he decided to come out of retirement and serve his Nation once again. He signed on as a contractor to work as a LEP serving side-by-side with US Soldiers in the Balkans, Iraq and his last tour in Afghanistan.
I asked Tom to consider opting out of the Afghan tour and just go home to rest in retirement (once again) with his loving family. He could not. I spoke to Tom earlier this Spring as he was preparing to depart Fort Benning for year another tour doing what he loved; serving with young soldiers and helping America get this Afghan thing right.
This afternoon I received this email from a fellow friend in Afghanistan: "With deep regret I hate to inform you that LEP: Thomas Boyle: was killed on the 19th of June at 0600 hrs during an insurgent attack on his FOB near Kandahar Afghanistan. I am still waiting on the details. When I get them, I will pass them on."
Tom out working with the locals
When I learned Tom was killed by small arms fire, I said to myself, "That figures."
I recall every time a round was fired, the indirect fire alert roared, or the QRF was assembled, I would find Tom standing there with his helmet in one hand and his musket (M16A2) in the other.
He was fearless, but not in a reckless manner. His was a calm, confident demeanor and I always counted on his presence to calm the nerves of a few of the more junior troopers when things got hot.
So, how was Tom killed by small arms fire when he lived on a FOB and would have had no responsibility to man the perimeter in an attack? I believe he could not stay away from that perimeter once the first round was fired. It simply was not his nature.
I guess I always knew he'd die with his boots on.
I am making plans to travel to Chicago next week to see his family.
Rest in Peace, Tom. You're a great man and a fine example for all Americans. You continually chose, throughout your life to serve your fellow citizens when far to many have opted out. You will be missed terribly, but as I guess it was destined to be, you died with your boots on.
Your friend and protege . . .
Link to the Chicago Tribune article honoring Captain Tom HERE