Based: Ft. Benning, Ga.
3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: February 18, 2007
southeastern Afghanistan, Afghanistan
High School: Roseville High (Roseville)
Burial: Newcastle District Cemetery, Newcastle, Calif.
When Kristofer Thomas was 15, he told a recruiter that he wanted to join the Army.Do read the entire LA Times article about Army Private 1st Class Kristofer D.S. Thomas here, and find more at Military Times and the Ranger Lead The Way fund site and visit Private Thomas's Guest Book.
For most kids, it could have been a boyhood whim. But Thomas never wavered from his pledge. He graduated from high school in the Sacramento Valley city of Roseville a semester early so he could enlist a month after his 17th birthday. Within months, he became the youngest-ever member of the Army Rangers, an elite, highly trained special operations unit, and soon was deployed to Afghanistan.
On Feb. 18, the 18-year-old private first class and seven other special operations soldiers were killed when their CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter crashed in Afghanistan's Zabol province, south of Kabul. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Benning, Ga….
In addition to his mother and brother Nicholes, Thomas is survived by his stepfather, Eddie Getz; his father and stepmother, Rodney and Ramona Thomas; and a younger brother, Mason Thomas of Lincoln, Calif.
According to a Defense Department release, also killed in the crash were:
* Pfc. Ryan C. Garbs, 20, of Edwardsville, Ill.; B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
* Spc. Brandon D. Gordon, 21, of Naples, Fla.; B Company, 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.
* Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hershel D. McCants, Jr., 34, of Arizona; B Co., 2nd Battalion, 160th.
* CW3 John A. Quinlan, 26, of New Jersey; B Co., 2nd Battalion, 160th.
* Spc. Travis R. Vaughn, 26, of Reinbeck, Iowa; B Co., 2nd Battalion, 160th.
* Sgt. Adam A. Wilkinson, 23, of Miskayuna, N.Y.; B Co., 2nd Battalion, 160th.
* Air Force Tech Sgt. Scott Duffman, of La Cueva, N.M., was assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
Pfc. Ryan C. Garbs -- Rest In Peace
Spc. Brandon D. Gordon -- Rest In Peace
Chief Warrant Officer Hershel D. McCants -- Rest In Peace
CW3 John A. Quinlan -- Rest In Peace
Spec. Travis R. Vaughn -- Rest In Peace
Sgt. Adam A. Wilkinson -- Rest In Peace
Air Force Tech Sgt. Scott Duffman -- Rest In Peace