- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- Task Force Sinai
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. Troy O. Tom
Died August 19, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
21, of Shiprock, N.M.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 18 in Arghandab, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit. Also killed was Pfc. Jonathan C. Yanney.
21-year-old Navajo soldier dies in Afghanistan
By Sue Major Holmes
The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 21-year-old Navajo soldier killed in Afghanistan was described by his mother as someone who made everyone smile and his father remembered him as an outgoing man with an interest in the outdoors and art.
Navajo Nation Council Delegate David Tom of Beclabito-Cudii and his wife, Carolyn Tom, flew to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for a brief ceremony Aug. 20 when the body of their son, Spc. Troy Orion Tom, was brought back to the United States.
“Right now he’s just our hero,” David Tom said Aug. 21. “His family is all proud of him that he was out there, serving his country.”
His son was killed Aug. 17 in the Kandahar province, Afghanistan. David Tom said the family was told he stepped on a roadside bomb when his unit was setting up camp after a fight with Taliban insurgents.
Tom joined the Army in June 2006 after graduating from Aztec High School and was based in Fort Lewis, Wash. His father said he joined the military because he wanted to physically and mentally challenge himself.
“He was the nicest, the kindest, son. He made everybody smile. He always had a smile on his face — never, ever did he get mad. We’re going to miss him very much,” Carolyn Tom said before breaking down in tears.
David Tom said his son liked to hunt, fish and sketch, and enjoyed herding sheep when he was back on the reservation.
George Hardeen, spokesman for Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., said Tom is the ninth Navajo member of the military to die in either Afghanistan or Iraq since 2004.
Shirley will order flags lowered to half-staff before the funeral, Hardeen said.
Begged parents to let him join Army before he turned 18
The Associated Press
Before he was 18, Troy Tom begged his family to let him join the Army, saying he wanted the challenges and experiences time in the service would bring and he wanted to attend college on the GI Bill.
The high school honor roll student didn’t want to burden his family with tuition for school and other expenses, said his aunt Lena Dorme.
“He was a smart boy,” his father, David Tom, added. “He begged us to let him go into the Army early, before he even turned 18.”
Troy Tom, 21, of Shiprock, N.M., was one of two soldiers killed Aug. 18 when a roadside bomb exploded near them in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on the Pakistani border. He was based at Fort Lewis, Wash., and was posthumously promoted to sergeant.
Tom joined the Army in June 2006 after graduating from Aztec High School in Aztec, N.M. He was a member of the Navajo Nation. His family said they will remember him as someone who could make people around him smile.
“He was the nicest, the kindest, son. He made everybody smile. He always had a smile on his face — never, ever did he get mad. We’re going to miss him very much,” his mother Carolyn Tom said before breaking down in tears.