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Army Master Sgt. Sean M. Thomas

Died March 27, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

33, of Harrisburg, Pa.; assigned to the 28th Division Support Command, Harrisburg, Pa.; died March 27 in Baghdad when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using indirect fire during combat operations.

Pa. guardsman killed in Baghdad’s Green Zone

The Associated Press

HUGHESVILLE, Pa. — A National Guardsman from north-central Pennsylvania was killed in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone when a rocket exploded over his head, officials said.

Sgt. 1st Class Sean Michael Thomas, 33, died March 27, less than a year after he returned from duty in Afghanistan. He was serving with the Harrisburg-based 28th Division Support Command.

“He loved his wife, his family and his new baby,” said his mother, Diana Thomas. “He was the first person to smile and make a joke and his entire family will miss him terribly.”

Thomas’ wife, Carrie, is a sergeant in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His daughter, Alexa, is 6 months old.

The unit’s commander, Col. Jesse Deets, called Thomas a model officer and friend.

“We have lost one of our family members, and it hurts more than you will ever know,” Deets said in a statement released by the office of Gov. Ed Rendell. “Sean can be proud that we did not drop the flag as a result of his sacrifice; he would have it no other way.”

Thomas and an American contractor were killed in the rocket attack, which wounded five others, including a second soldier and contractor.

Thomas joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1998 after six years in the Army Reserve. He worked full-time at a Fort Indiantown Gap office.

He had been planning to attend Officer Candidates School in October and wanted to be a teacher when he returned to civilian life, Diana Thomas said.

Thomas was sent to Iraq last summer and is the 27th member of the Pennsylvania National Guard killed in Iraq. He was posthumously promoted to master sergeant.

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