|Birth: ||Dec. 23, 1971|
|Death: ||Jan. 30, 2003, Afghanistan|
Army Chief Warrant 3 Gibbons was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He died in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter during a training mission 7 miles east of Bagram Air Base. The U.S. military has said the cause of the crash is unclear, but there was no indication of enemy fire. Gibbons had been stationed at Fort Campbell, where he lived with his wife and two daughters. Growing up in Calvert County, Gibbons was a guitar-playing free spirit, but one also with a sense of duty that compelled him to join the ROTC in high school. He also dreamed of flying. Two months after high school, he enlisted. He wanted to become a Marine but thought it would be more difficult to become a pilot in the corps, so he joined the Army, becoming a member of the 101st Airborne Division. Then came Desert Storm and his first brush with war. He had a safe tour during the Gulf War but soon the military was actively reducing its ranks, and Gibbons left the Army. He lived with his mother in Edgewater and turned to the electrical trade. But he quickly found that he was no longer meant for civilian life. So after a year or so, he reenlisted and eventually went to Ranger school. He survived the training, but it was not enough for him so he worked his way into flight school. In 1997, he got his wings. After Thomas' body was returned home, his father partook in a private ritual. He drove up from Huntington to Arlington and asked the funeral director if he could open the coffin and spend some time with his son. He took out a torn dollar bill that he had given to his son in 1991. "I opened up his blazer and put it in his shirt pocket," he said. Over his son's heart. Then, he took the other half home with him, saving it for another undertaker at another time. "When my day comes," his father said, "I'll put it in my shirt pocket. We'll meet together, and we'll be one again."
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 66, Site 7317
Created by: Brenda N
Record added: Mar 07, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10584544