SILVER SPRING, MD, US
SPC, B CO, 1ST BN, 24TH INF, 25TH INF DIV, FORT LEWIS, WA 98433
11/11/2004, MOSUL, IRAQ
SPC Doerflinger signed up to become a soldier shortly after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. “He said, ‘I just want to be helpful,”’ said Anna Doerflinger, Thomas’ sister.
Thomas’ parents, Richard and Lee Doerflinger, tried to dissuade him, his sister said, because war in the middle east appeared to be imminent. “But he said he’d rather join then than in a time of peace,” Anna added.
SPC Doerfling never talked about the danger he faced because he was trying to protect his family from worrying about him. “He scoffed, and said he was going to OK,” Anna explained. “He never wanted us to know the threat he was in. He was doing this because he wanted to.”
SPC Doerflinger had been in Iraq less than a month when he was KIA. Thomas graduated in 2002 from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, where he received an International Baccalaureate degree. He enlisted in the Army, and completed basic training at Fort Benning, GA. Thomas was quiet, very smart and studious, Chris Doerflinger, a cousin explained.
Anna Doerflinger, said that her brother was quiet, “not your typical play-video-games kind of guy.” He was a writer of stories and poems, he was funny and loved Johnny Cash’s music.
SPC Doerflinger’s parents Richard and Lee Ann Doerflinger released a statement through the Archdiocese of Washington: “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.”