Hero Mission to Honor Army Ranger SGT. Thomas R. McPherson, Thursday, October 25
2012-10-24 · By Editor
The Joint Forces Training Base will honor the life of Army Ranger Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson, who was killed during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Oct. 12, with planeside honors, commonly called a “Hero Mission.”
His body will fly into Los Alamitos Army Airfield Oct. 25 at 11:30 a.m. The MacPherson family said they welcome community supporters to the ceremony. The funeral is scheduled for the next day, Oct. 26, 2012 at the Cottonwood Church across from the base at 4505 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720.
MacPherson, who was 26 years old and a graduate of Los Alamitos High School, was killed by small arms fire in the Ghazni Province in Afghanistan as he led an assault against an enemy position, U.S. Army officials said.
MacPherson was a team leader assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. This was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan and he had also previously served one deployment in Iraq.
MacPherson is survived by his wife, Claudia MacPherson, and their son,Brayden, of Tacoma, Wash., and his parents, Troy and Diona MacPherson of Long Beach.
MacPherson was born July 20, 1986, in Long Beach. He enlisted in the Army in May 2007 and completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. After graduating from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program he initially served as a mortarman with the 75th Ranger Regiment. After three years, he was assigned to Delta Company, where he served as a fire team leader.
His military education includes the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course and the Warrior Leader Course. His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge. MacPherson has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart Medal.
Supporters are asked to arrive early to stage prior to the plane arrival.