MADRAS, OR, USA
PFC, COMPANY B, 1ST BN, 502D INFANTRY, 2 BCT, 101ST AA, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 06/19/2006
Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras, Oregon, died in the vicinity of Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries sustained on or about June 16, 2006. His unit came under enemy small-arms fire while manning a checkpoint during combat operations, and he was taken by enemy forces.
On July 3, 2006, PFC Tucker was honored in his home of Central Oregon beginning with a funeral service at Deschutes County Fairgrounds, followed by a funeral procession, eight miles long, to Madras, his hometown, where he was buried at Mount Jefferson Memorial Park Cemetery. Along with hundreds of local mourners and military dignitaries, the burial was also attended by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden and others. Even after PFC Tucker’s burial, banners, pictures, and other signs of support remained on display around Madras. Tucker’s friends and other Madras residents continued to put flowers, balloons and banners on the chain-link fence that had become his makeshift memorial.Jerome Mannenbach, Tucker’s shop teacher at Madras High School, told the crowd how Tucker always thought about improving the school’s automotive program for the next batch of students.”We’ve lost Tommy,” he said through tears. “But he’s also in some sense brought a lot back to this community.”
“He was a determined kid,” said Rick Allen, a family friend. “A tough kid.”
“It didn’t matter if it was the Triangle of Death, or whatever they call it. If that’s where the action was, Tom wanted to be where the action was,” said his father, Wes.
He also played the piano and loved music. The 1999 high school graduate had an eye for a good spot to fish, a knack for hunting and a passion for fixing battered pickup trucks.
He also is survived by his mother, Margarett.