Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Thomas H Byrd

Tucson, Arizona

October 15, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
21 Army Spc

2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division

Fort Benning, Georgia

 Killed in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Oct. 15, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle during combat operations.

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Thomas Harold Byrd was born on August 4, 1984 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson, Arizona to Michael W. Byrd, Sr. and Julia M. Byrd.

Tommy was a very active child from the beginning. He spent many hours with his Grandmother as she babysat him while his parent worked. Every morning when he was a toddler, he would insist his Great Grandma, Great Grandpa Poppy and his Grandma take him out for breakfast. He would never eat, but he loved going out. He loved to be chased down the hall while he was throwing the morning paper behind him. He should have been in trouble, but it was just so cute. 

In 1986, Tommy and his family moved to Phoenix where he attended pre-school to third grade. He still spent every summer in Tucson with his Grandparents and his Aunts Kim, Beth and Sue. He loved to swim and play with his cousin David Ross. 

Beginning School was a very exciting time for Tommy as he loved to be around other kids. He loved to run and jump and play sports. He was a good friend to all. He always stuck up for the kids being picked on. He like to razz people, but he didn't pick on them. Tommy was best known for his smile and his sense of humor. In 1990 he became a big brother. He couldn't wait until Michael "Mikey" could play. He finally had someone to wrestle with and play with. He was a wonderful big brother. He took the blame for his brother when his brother was asked to give the car some gas, he did and blew up the engine. Tommy was in big trouble, but never told on his brother. 

Tommy and his family moved back to Tucson in the summer of 1990. Tommy was very happy to be back in Tucson. He wanted to be closer to his Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and numerous cousins. By this time there were 6 grandchildren. Tommy being the first and most spoiled. 

As Tommy grew older, he remained a loving, caring and respectful young man. He loved his family and friends very much. His smile could change anyone's bad mood. He tried always to keep things light and look on the positive side. He made many friends throughout the years that remained friends until he died. His parents are very honored to have them as they remain very good friends to the family. 

He loved to play football and played until his sophomore year in high school and then he began his wrestling career up to the end of this senior year. He went to state champs. He is loved and missed by many of his peers and coaches. 

He joined the Army in the summer of 2003 and left for boot camp on November 13, 2003. After 911 he felt very strongly about what he was going to do. He wanted to be part of the solution. He believed in what he was doing. He was proud to be serving our country. He loved each of the men serving with him and was proud to be in their platoon. 

He came home on leave in April, 2004 and married Mykel Moss on April 9, 2004. We celebrated Christmas with him and he left for Iraq in the 3rd week of January, 2005. 

He came home on leave in August, 2005. That was a wonderful day for the entire family as he spent it surprising everyone. He loved to surprise his family and friends. There was a party in his honor. He was called a hero and he said, "Mom, don't call me a hero, that is for the fallen." 

On October 15, 2005, our lives changed forever as our Angel of Freedom had been taken from our lives when he was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq.

Thomas received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart along with various other recognitions. 

Tommy is survived by his sole surviving Grandmother, Sandra L. Webber, his parents, Michael W. Byrd, Sr. and Julia M. Byrd, his brother Michael W. Byrd, Jr., his Aunts Kimberly Hensley, Elizabeth Weber, Susan Mortensen and Sharon Richardson. He is also survived by many Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Friends from all over the country. He is also survived by his wife, Mrs. Mykel Byrd. 

He is missed by many and will be loved forever. 

Thank you. 

Sincerely,
Julia M. Byrd

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