Marine returns to family in the civilian world

Video posted April 23, 2012 in News by By Bradley Thomas


Brett Thomas, 23, from Levittown, Pa., married his wife at age 20. His son Brayden was born Jan. 11, 2010, in Jacksonville N.C.  Thomas said he has always wanted to be a father, and now that he has a son, he loves being a parent.  However, he also had another duty to fulfill. 

Marine and WifeHe wanted to be a United States Marine since he was young, and he made his dream happen.  He served as an Assaultman (0351) from August 2007 to August 2011 with 2nd Battalion 9th Marines.  He did a tour in Ramadi, Iraq, and Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Thomas said his first deployment was relatively laid back because the war had begun switching back over to Afghanistan.  Sadly, two Marines were still killed during his tour in Iraq.  When he began preparing for Afghanistan, he and his family realized his second deployment would be much different than his first. 

The first day in Afghanistan, he remembers seeing the enemy he would soon be fighting against from a distance.  He was told they would not be attacked for a while because the Taliban let the new Marines settle in and try to wait for some of them to become complacent.  This theory was true, but the attacks still began.  He was involved in numerous firefights and saw over 10 IED's.  Thomas' platoon was attached to riflemen platoon (0311) to help them with support.  The support came in the form of rockets, motors, machine guns and various other pieces of heavy equipment.  They fought the Taliban regularly and won each battle.

Unfortunately, Thomas lost some good friends while in Afghanistan, but was able to do his duty and his part in winning over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.  Now he is continuing his path as a father, and taking care of his family as a civilian.

The transition

Brett Thomas has been transitioning from being an Infantry Marine to a civilian for about a year. It has been a difficult process but he says his family and having a strong heart have pushed him through the tough times. He believes it will get easier with time.

A sense of humor is important

Being in a war zone is not just about being shot at, it is also about finding a way to deal with the down time. One of the hurdles he had to overcome was passing kidney stones. He made this video to help get through the experience.