25179 Thomas, Henry Lucius 
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John Ward's Directory Entry 
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On Sunday, August 15th Frank Mashburn, Frank Lambert, and I rendezvoused at 
the grave site of Henry L. (Hank) Thomas at 1100 hours.  This was our 
contribution to the grave site visit initiative leading up to our 35th 
Reunion in September. 


Hank is interred in Section 187, Row Q, Plot 6 of the Paso Robles Cemetery in 
Paso Robles, CA.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, with mild temperatures when 
we met to conduct the memorial visit.  The ceremony was very low key, and 
simple, but also moving. 

I started by reading the commentary on Hank from the 1964 Howitzer.  Frank 
Mashburn, who knew Hank well and was a good friend, then read Hank's own 
"Remarks" from the 30th Reunion edition of John Ward's directory -- with the 
exception of the last paragraph. 

Frank Lambert then read the Hank Thomas directory entry from the 1997-1998 
Directory -- which was the last paragraph from the 30th Reunion edition with 
very short introductory words from John Ward. 

We then, in unison, recited "The Corps" followed by "The Cadet Prayer." 

While simple, this ceremony was also very profound.  When I was first 
contacted to conduct this visit as part of the 35th Reunion activities, I 
didn't know Hank's story.  It is one of tragedy, life as a quadraplegic, 
earning a Masters Degree, becoming a Vice President at Bank of America, 
living a full and engaged life, and ending in a tragic, premature death. 
West Point strengthened him to endure and overcome handicaps we can not 
imagine.  I have been humbled by this opportunity to pay him our collective 
respects.  My thanks to the two Franks for taking the time to join me in this 

"Well done."  Hank Thomas, "be thou at peace." 

At lunch following the memorial service, Frank Mashburn shared with us many 
memories of Hank.  Especially the effect Hank's approach to life has had on 

"From the time I knew of Hank being a quadraplegic as a result of his injury, 
until his death, he was always an inspiration to me.  If I felt "down" about 
something, I only had to think of Hank and realize just how well off I really 
was.  I also know that I, probably like all of us, failed to take advantage 
of opportunities to be with Hank more until it was too late.  The concept of 
keeping in frequent touch with family and friends even when it is 
inconvenient is very valid, because you do not know when you will never have 
that opportunity again." 

Curt Davis, his classmate 


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