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Air Force Sgt Thomas serves in Iraq

Air Force Sgt Thomas serves in Iraq

By: By Phyllis Hanson

Air Force Sgt Thomas serves in Iraq

Air Force Staff Sgt. Micheal K. Thomas serving at Ali Air Base, Iraq.
For the son of a Martin woman, life at this coalition air base in isolated southern Iraq, is a struggle of extremes. A cold, drenching rain replaces sun-baked, cracked desert conditions, making life constantly a challenge for the men and women supporting the Air Force’s only major airfield in the southern part of the country.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Micheal K. Thomas, son of Dorothy M. Thomas, Martin, is one of more than 700 airmen deployed to this desolate outpost with important missions that range from receiving and sending cargo, airspace control and managing the MQ-1 unmanned aerial vehicle, the Predator.
Thomas is in charge of the daily warehouse operations at the 407th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. “I am responsible in receiving all supplies that come in for the Air Force, as well as storing Air Force members’ weapons,” said the 1995 Martin Westview graduate.
Originally named Tallil Air Base, Ali was one of the first bases coalition forces established following the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ali is the home of the 407th Expeditionary Group, along with an Army combat brigade and coalition forces from Australia and Romania.
Thomas says that the support that he and his team provide plays a critical link to the overall successful mission of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “Planes wouldn’t fly missions without supplies and the other squadrons wouldn’t be able to keep the base running,” said Thomas.
Extreme conditions, coupled with living in a tent city where showers, dining and recreation are long walks away and the further stress of being away from family and friends, makes Thomas miss things most Americans take for granted.
“I really miss my kids and doing things with them,” said Thomas.
After his deployment, Thomas will return to Yokota Air Base, Japan where he works in the receiving section. A 12-year veteran, Thomas has been stationed in such places as New Mexico, Italy, Greece and Portugal. He also earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology from the Word of Life Theological Seminary and Bible College in 2004.
wcp 3-14-08

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