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Sgt Thomas James Strickland
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Birth: Sep. 8, 1977
Douglasville
Douglas County
Georgia, USA
Death: Aug. 15, 2005
Muthanna, Iraq

THIS LISTING IS A MEMORIAL CENOTAPH LOCATED AT FORT STEWART, GA. ACTUAL BURIAL IS ELSEWHERE

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on August 15, 2005, in Al Mahmudiyah, Iraq, when their HMMWV accidentally rolled over into a canal. All three were assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment, Calhoun, Ga.
Killed were:
Sgt. Thomas J. Strickland, 27, of Douglasville, Ga.
Spc. Joshua P. Dingler, 19, of Hiram, Ga.
Sgt. Paul A. Saylor, 21, of Norcross, Ga.

CARROLLTON, GA - The Thomas J. Strickland Memorial Library Endowment Fund has been established at the University of West Georgia to honor Strickland who was killed while serving his country in Iraq as a Sergeant in the Georgia Army National Guard.
Strickland, who received a BA in English from UWG in 2002, was serving with a Douglasville-based detachment of the 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment.
As a permanent memorial in his honor, the endowment fund was created by Dr. Jane Hill, chair of the UWG Department of English, and Lorene Flanders, director of UWG libraries. The interest from the fund will be used to add one book of literary interest to the Ingram Library's circulating collection each year.

Local hearts ache for 4 killed in Iraq
By JEREMY REDMON and ANNA VARELA | Tuesday, August 16, 2005, 11:03 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Karen Dingler sat on the edge of her son's bed and hugged his dress green uniform to her chest. She buried her nose in it, breathing in hard.
"I'm so glad it smells like him," she said Tuesday.
She had kept the uniform tucked away in his closet at their Paulding County home since he left for Iraq. She pulled it out this week and gently placed it on his bed. She figured the military would need it to bury her son, Spc. Joshua Dingler.
Thomas Strickland of Douglas County and Joshua Dingler of Hiram and were among the victims.
A military chaplain and a captain had visited her home Monday. They told her Joshua and two other soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment died in an accident early that day. A military press release said their vehicle overturned into a canal during a night mission.
Joshua Dingler, 19, of Hiram was fresh out of East Paulding High School. He died on the second anniversary of his enlistment. Two of his friends died beside him: Sgt. Thomas J. Strickland, 27, of Fairplay in Douglas County and Spc. Paul Saylor, 21, of Bremen, near the Alabama state line.
A fourth Georgia soldier was reported killed in a separate incident. Spc. Michael Stokely, 23, of Loganville was killed Monday night when he stepped on an explosive device, WAGA-TV reported. Stokely is the son of Coweta County Solicitor Robert Stokely and had been in Iraq for two months, according to WSB-TV. He was a 2001 graduate of Loganville High School, the station said. No other information was available Tuesday night.
All four were part of the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team, which has lost 16 soldiers since arriving in Iraq in early June.


Strickland was a project manager at Son Electrical Contractors in Winston. He had been in the Guard for six years. He graduated from Alexander High School, where he was president of the drafting club, and later earned a bachelor's degree in English from University of West Georgia.
Greg Stanford, a minister at Dorsett Shoals Baptist Church, remembered Strickland as a well-rounded, likable man who loved to meet people and enjoyed mission work ‿ including trips to Bosnia and the Philippines.
"He just loved to work with people who were just a little less fortunate than most of us are," Stanford said. "I could have very easily seen Thomas in the ministry somewhere."
Strickland's parents, Patti and Ronnie, didn't want to give interviews Tuesday. They released a statement saying their son saw his deployment to Iraq as an opportunity to fight terrorism. They asked people to pray for the troops in Iraq and their families.
The Saylors also didn't want to speak publicly Tuesday. They released a statement through a family friend, Louanne Hutcheson, thanking people for "the hundreds of expressions of sympathy" they had received.
Sgt. Joseph Brown, a member of Saylor's platoon, said he was like their official photographer. "He must have a thousand pictures of us on his laptop," said Brown, who is at home in Paulding County recovering from an injury he received in Iraq. "He would create these little slide shows and put music to them."
Saylor also had a little velveteen bag with a collection of items that he kept secret, Brown said. "Before we'd go out [on a mission] he made us all rub that little bag, for luck."
Karen Dingler, who was just starting as the unit's family support group leader, was on the phone seeking advice on how to help families who lose loved ones in Iraq when the chaplain and casualty notification officer showed up.
"It turned out to be mine," she said. "I just opened the door and swallowed hard."
Dingler knew why the soldiers were there. She remembers repeating to herself, "I can do this," as she let them into her home. They asked her where her husband, Tommy, was. He was at the gas station, so they waited to tell her why they were there, making small talk until he returned.
"I could feel the pain in those poor guys' faces," she said. "I was trying to be nice. I knew what they wanted."
The military told her she could keep her son's uniform. They would bury him in a new one.
Karen and her husband talked proudly about their son Tuesday as they sat in his tidy bedroom.
Several eagle figurines sat atop his chest of drawers. A poster of Osama bin Laden with a red target on his chest hung on his wall.
Joshua's 16-year-old brother, Samuel, lay on his bed, sobbing.
On the door to Joshua's closet is a picture of him and his high school sweetheart, Katelyn Wood, taken when they attended a military ball. She wore a black gown; he was in his ROTC dress uniform. It was their first date.
Before leaving for Iraq, he had asked her father for his blessing to marry her. He planned to go to Kennesaw State University, study history and then teach it in high school.
Katelyn held a "just in case" letter he had written her on notebook paper. She couldn't force herself to open it. But she peeked at the closing sentence: "Yours to the very end."

THIS LISTING IS A MEMORIAL CENOTAPH LOCATED AT FORT STEWART, GA. ACTUAL BURIAL IS ELSEWHERE
 
 
Burial:
Warriors Walk Memorial
Hinesville
Liberty County
Georgia, USA
 
Created by: Elizabeth Olmstead
Record added: Jul 09, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14871632
Sgt Thomas James Strickland
Added by: Elizabeth Olmstead
 
Sgt Thomas James Strickland
Added by: Elizabeth Olmstead
 
Sgt Thomas James Strickland
Added by: Elizabeth Olmstead
 
 
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Birthday Blessings, Sergeant Strickland.
- Jill
 Added: Sep. 8, 2007

- Elizabeth Olmstead
 Added: Jul. 9, 2006
 
 
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