Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Thomas Ferrell Allison, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom with the Night Stalkers. His sacrifice is honored by the Carry the Load.
Thomas Ferrell Allison was born in Parkland, Washington, in October 1979. In grade school, Allison enjoyed playing war and otherwise messing around at church camp. He graduated from Washington High School, then joined the Army. Christian faith was a central part of Allison’s life. His family reported that, when they were concerned for his safety in the service, he would attempt to reassure them by saying, “Some of us will get to heaven first.”
Allison was assigned to Company E of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. This unit, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is called the Night Stalkers, an elite team named for their specialty in transporting combat troops by helicopter undercover at night. It played a crucial role in Operation Enduring Freedom as a part of a larger 660-member American force tasked with training soldiers in the Philippines to fight extremist guerrillas.
A total of 10 service members, including Allison, two Air Force para-rescuers and seven other helicopter crew members, were on a mission to scout rebels on Basilan Island when their MH-47E Chinook helicopter erupted in a fireball for unknown reasons. It plummeted into the Bohol Sea, killing all on board. In the aftermath of the crash, which took place on Feb. 22, 2002, only three bodies were recovered, and none of the three was Allison’s.
His family received an oak chest with his ribbons and medals pinned along its velvet lining. Those awards included a Legion of Merit, an Air Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, a Basic Aviation Badge, a Parachutist Badge and an Air Assault Badge. A memorial service took place for Allison at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington, where a gravestone currently stands in Allison’s honor.
To post a tribute this Memorial Day for Thomas Ferrell Allison, please visit the Veterans Legacy Memorial at https://www.vlm.cem.va.gov/THOMASFERRELLALLISON/37422DC.
We honor his service.
Carry the Load
In 2022, VA is joining forces with Carry The Load to honor veterans during the “Memorial May” March, a national relay visiting 50 VA national cemeteries to honor our nation’s fallen service members. A link to this webpage is here. The complete list of participating cemeteries can be found here. Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Kim McAdams
Editors: Annabelle Colton, Theresa Lyon
Researchers: Kennady Hertz, David Charles Deprez
Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley
Project Manager: Oasis Diaz