Archive for Friday, November 17, 2006

Fort Leavenworth officer killed in Iraq

November 17, 2006

— An Army officer based at Fort Leavenworth has died of injuries he suffered when an improvised explosive device exploded near his Humvee during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq.

Colonel Thomas H. Felts Sr., 45, of Sandston, Va., died Nov. 14 while serving as Senior Team Leader of 1-6 Military Transition Team, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Felts was a Senior Service College Fellow of the Advanced Operational Arts Studies Fellowship at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth before deploying to Iraq in January.

He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Military Officer Advanced Course, CGSC, and the School of Advanced Military Studies, where he earned a Master of Military Arts and Sciences degree.

A memorial service was held at the fort Friday, Nov. 17, at the Main Post Chapel.

Felts' widow, Kim Felts, and her brother met with the news media hours later.

John Allen Waldrop III, of Williamsburg, Va., read a statement about his brother-in-law and friend.

"Colonel Felts dedicated his life to the service of God, his family and his country. He made a huge difference in the lives of all those that he touched. He demonstrated that conviction by volunteering to go to Iraq. He knew the dangers of being in harm's way, yet he remained committed to securing the future of our own children by defeating forces of hatred and violence and showing people what is possible if they embrace tolerance and peace," Waldrop said.

Thomas Felts also leaves behind the couple's four children: Sara, 19, LeAnna, 17, Rebekah, 13, and Thomas Jr., 11.

Kim Felts said the family arrived at the fort in August 2005 and also lived there from 1996 to 1998.

Thomas Felts' military career spanned 27 years.

"I have been overwhelmed by the calls, the e-mails, just the outpouring of that family and the relationships we've made over the years. People came from Arizona, I've had calls from Brazil. It's just overwhelming, it really is, the outpouring and the way they've surrounded me and my family and taken care of us during this time," she said.

Kim Felts said funeral services for her husband would be held Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va. Internment will be at the Seven Pines National Cemetery near Sandston, Va.

For more on this story, check the Nov. 22 edition of The Current.

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