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Heroes Among Us: Marvin Thomas

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 10:07 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Every month, WALB and Montlick and Associates join together to say thank you to a South Georgian who has served our country selflessly.

For this month’s “Heroes Among Us,” we honored Marvin Thomas.

Every month, WALB and Montlick and Associates join together to say thank you to a South Georgian who has served our country selflessly.

“About six months after graduation, an Army recruiter called me,” Thomas explained. “I said, ‘no, I’m not going in the military.’”

However, persistence paid off for the recruiters back in 1984, because a month later, Thomas joined the Army.

Over the next 20 years, he found himself deploying to several different countries.

“Over in Honduras, it was a nice little country,” Thomas said. “We did a lot of great things with the engineering unit there, making roads and things of that nature.”

Thomas was a specialist who focused on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. He helped train his fellow soldiers to defend against these hazards.

Thomas was a specialist who focused on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.
Thomas was a specialist who focused on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.(WALB)

He explained that his time in Honduras opened his eyes.

“I gained more compassion seeing that other countries are not as well off as we are,” he said.

He eventually went to Korea, where that compassion only grew.

“They had an escort service where you escort babies from Korea back to parents here in an adoption service,” Thomas explained. “I had the opportunity to escort a Korean child to a family here in the United States.”

That role meant a lot to him.

“I was just amazed,” he said. “Me being a young fellow, not aware of how kids not only go into adoption, from across another country to this country. I was part of that process.”

After serving 20 years in the Army, he retired and went to work for homeland security.

He moved to Albany in 2006 for a job at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

“I met a few guys here amongst this club and became part of Viper Unit Motorcycle Club,” Thomas said.

As the club’s president, his time overseas inspired him to use the club’s resources and skills to help people in need in the Good Life City.

“I saw families, kids that are barely making it,” Thomas said. “We started doing charity and giving away things, we saw in the community not only overseas but it’s right here where we live.”

They host several events each year, like back-to-school giveaways, health fairs and Christmas giveaways.

“We had this one family that had three boys. We not only gave them toys and things of that nature, but we gave them clothes,” he said. “That parent, she wrote us a letter. She said, ‘I am so thrilled. They have never had a Christmas like that in their life.’”

That testimony showed the Viper Unit they can make a difference.

That keeps this Army veteran going.

“It’s very emotional,” Thomas said. “That’s why we’re able to do it year in and year out. No matter the circumstances, we’ll get it done.”

If you know a current military member or veteran you want to nominate for “Heroes Among Us,” click here.

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