Yukon’s Tom Thomas honored as county’s Veteran of the Year

Canadian County Veteran of the Year and Yukon resident Tom Thomas rides in the Veterans Day Parade Sunday in El Reno. Photo/Glen Miller

Tom Thomas said he was surprised last week to learn that he is this year’s Yukon Veteran of the Year for Canadian County.

Thomas was one of seven county veterans who were honored Sunday during the annual Veterans Day ceremonies, which were held in El Reno.

Karen Nance, the executive director of the El Reno Chamber of Commerce, said Sunday’s event was the seventh time the parade and ceremonies have been held.

“The veterans need the honor that is due them,” she said.

The ceremony is held annually in El Reno, which is the county seat.

Nance said the organization tries to honor a veteran from each community.

Thomas, who is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was nominated by Col. Rick Cacini.

He served in the military from 1969 until 1976. He was a sergeant, who was stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, Vietnam, Tinker Air Force Base and Yokota Air Base in Japan.

“I was surprised. No one told me until three days before the parade. I didn’t know I had been nominated,” he said.

The program, which followed the parade, featured former House member Gary Banz, who help found the state’s Honor Flights. The flights took veterans on a free trip to see the memorials in Washington, D.C.

The county’s other honorees were Howard Burkhead, U.S. Air Force, from Calumet; John Henderson, Army and Navy, from El Reno; Barry Carrington, Army, from Mustang; Ken Dickerson, Navy, Piedmont; James Smith, Army, Union City.

 

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