Winner of the Purple Heart Run Truck

  
Biography of LCpl Nicholas Thom
 
Marine Lance Corporal Nicholas Thom was born in 1989, to William and Yolanda Thom, a military family then stationed at Clark AFB, Philippines. His father spent 30 years in service to our great nation serving in the Marine Corps. Nick has lived just about everywhere the Marine Corps has a base, both here and abroad -- from the Philippines to Okinawa, and California to North Carolina, Nick and his family called them all “home.”  One of three boys who would all wear a Marine uniform, following in their father’s footsteps, and serve a great nation when their country needed them most.  Nick attended high school at Camp Lejeune while his father was stationed there and graduated in the summer of 2008.
 
Shortly after graduating, Nick enlisted in the Marine Corps and attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego under the Legacy Program.  After boot camp, Nick went to Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger, NC.  Upon completion of ITB, Nick received orders to Charlie Company 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, NC. Immediately after reporting in, Nick and his fellow Marines began a 14 month pre-deployment workup.  It was also during this time that one of his battle buddies introduced Nick to Samantha, the woman who would become his best friend, love of his life, wife, and now his caregiver.
 
In Feb. 2010, his unit received orders to Musa Qala, Afghanistan as part of the President’s “Surge” Campaign.  While conducting Operation “Dogpile”on 4 April 2010, clearing villages of Taliban fighters, Nick was blown up by a command detonated IED, losing both his legs from above the knees down, three fingers, and also suffered severe soft tissue damage to his forearms.  Nine days later he woke up at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda MD with injures that would forever change his life.  He spent close to four years undergoing rehabilitation in both inpatient and outpatient programs at NNMC and at the VA.  Patriot Thom is currently working toward a degree in Business through Northern Virginia Community College using his VA Vocational Rehabilitation benefits.  After graduation, he hopes to bring what he learned through personal experience to help Not-for-profit Veteran organizations better grasp how to help veterans through the business aspect.
 
Over the past couple of years, Nick has been involved with numerous organizations that range from veteran’s health and fitness, veteran’s golf, and the Veterans Wellness Initiative in his local community. He was part of the first competing platform that housed injured combat veterans called the “Wounded Working Games”.  He competed the first three years, but missed this last year after being introduced to the game of golf. He said he always saw other disabled veterans playing golf, so he thought it was time to give that a try.  He soon discovered that the greatest benefit of playing the game with other veterans was that it was a great way to relax, decompress, and talk with people going through some of the same things with which you can relate.  This was finally the therapy and peace Nick had longed for and found on the golf course, surrounded by his brothers and sisters.
 
Due to his injures Nick, was medically retired from the Marine Corps and now lives in Broad Run, VA with his wife Samantha.  He is a life member of the MOPH, VFW, and several other veteran’s organizations.  Soon after Nick came home to stay in Broad Run, He had a hand in helping to serve our willing warriors with a Veterans Wellness Initiative in his local community.  This organization brought veterans from the hospital at Walter Reed National Medical Center to an ADA rated, 4 star bed and breakfast, getting them out of the hospital for the weekends.  Nick also belongs to the Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA).  At first, he was just attending a clinic to learn how to play, but worked his way up to volunteering and is now an ambassador for the sport.  Nick is now involved in a wide variety of programs to help not only his fellow veterans, but his community as well.  He is still a young man with a whole lifetime ahead of him -- A lifetime of helping those who are in need or are less fortunate than himself.  Nick likes to share a quote from Booker T. Washington; “'Success is not to be measured so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”