- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Thomas K. Doerflinger
Died November 11, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
20, of Silver Spring, Md.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed Nov. 11 when his unit came under small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Mosul, Iraq.
Fort Lewis soldier killed in Iraq
By Stephen Manning
SILVER SPRING, Md. — A Fort Lewis soldier from Silver Spring was killed this week in fighting in Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Friday.
Spc. Thomas K. Doerflinger, 20, died Thursday in Mosul when his unit came under small-arms fire while conducting combat operations, the Pentagon said.
Doerflinger was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), basxed Fort Lewis, Wash. He had been in Iraq for less than a month.
Doerflinger joined the Army shortly after graduating from Springbrook High School, his sister, Anna, said Friday night. She spoke while outside her parents’ home, as friends and neighbors arrived to offer condolences.
Doerflinger joined the military shortly after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “He said, ‘I just want to be helpful,”’ said Anna Doerflinger, 23.
Thomas’ parents, Richard and Lee Doerflinger, tried to dissuade him, his sister said, because U.S. military action appeared to be imminent. “But he said he’d rather join then than in a time of peace,” Anna said.
Her younger brother, Anna said, was not “your typical play-video-games kind of guy.” He was quiet but very funny, and wrote poetry and short stories, she said.
Thomas also liked the music of Johnny Cash, and in his last message to his family, asked to be sent music CDs.
Doerflinger’s family last saw him a week before he left for Iraq, when they traveled to Fort Lewis, Anna said.
She hugged her brother, told him she loved him and told him to be careful, Anna recalled.
“He scoffed, and said he was going to OK,” she said. “He never wanted us to know the threat he was in. He was doing this because he wanted to.”
Doerfling never talked about the danger he faced because he was trying to protect his family from worrying about him, Anna said.
In addition to his parents and sister, Doerflinger is survived by another sister, Maria, and a brother, Matthew.
Richard and Lee Doerflinger issued this statement Friday night: “Our son Thomas was a smart, dedicated, wonderful young man who volunteered for the Army to serve his country and protect innocent people.
“He understood the risks of his chosen path, and gave his life doing what he had committed himself to doing — standing against those who have no respect for human life. Even as we grieve for our loss, we honor the ideals he stood for and ask others to do the same.”