George Thomas, was a lifelong citizen of Blount County, a Vietnam War Veteran, a 35-year Alcoa retiree after and one of the original 23 members of the VA Knoxville Outpatient Clinic’s PTSD work group. George was the first member of the work group to pass away on July 19, 2012 due to agent orange cancer.
Because of George’s commitment to his country, family and the group, his continued service & sacrifice, faith and leadership, the group flourished. Our memory of his loyalty, kindness, gentleness and faithfulness helped foster the creation of Vet to Vet Tennessee during extremely difficult times. The new vision and mission was simple: “Each One, Reach One, Teach One.” Each brother and sister are to cover each other’s 6. After George’s final journey, the group began each meeting in honor of George and with a prayer.
Over the past 6 years God has blessed VTVT, its members, veterans & their families and countless Veteran/Military Congregations and Ministries with their support and prayers. We needed to show our gratitude and joy for the spiritual support we received from hundreds of faith-based organization and spirit lead individuals. Designing the award name and purpose was simple: live and give like George Thomas. It took several months for numerous contributors to finalize the “George P. Thomas Memorial Award.”
But before we found our first recipient we needed the approval from George’s wife Sandra and his daughter Stacy. On October 11, 2017 VTVT sent the following email to the Thomas family:
Vet to Vet Tennessee would like to honor your father by presenting a certificate of appreciation for faith based organizations and/or individual who demonstrate the amazing strength of faith. We have worked on this certificate for months and have finally received approval from the members. Would you please review the certificate with your Mom and let us know if you would allow us to use this award in George’s name and if you would like us to modify it.
VTVT received the following response from Stacy: “We would be honored for you to name this award after my dad. You all were not only his family but his lifeline too. He loved and looked forward to every meeting. You guys helped him through a lot. Stacy Eggers 10-13-17
During Blount County Tennessee’ 49th Veterans Day event the 1st two George P. Thomas Memorial Awards were presented to the Honorable Mayor Ed Mitchell and Blount County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Kathy Jackson. The awards were presented by Sandra Thomas, Stacy Eggers and VTVT President Freddie Owens. The Thomas family and the honorees received a standing and emotion ovation.