The devastating impact of the war was put on a video for the world to see, the video showed a clearly distressed widow of a military officer receiving her husband’s coffin at the airport.
Shawn Thomas, a green beret lost his life in Niger, Africa in a car accident while he was deployed to the country. His obituary reads, “8th deployment defending our freedom while doing a job that he loved.” He was survived by his wife and four children.
The devastation to the families of war heroes on the loss of their loved ones to the service of the country is never an easy one to bear. These men and women have sacrificed everything they have for the safety of the citizens and for a generally peaceful world. They leave their wives, husbands, children, fathers, mothers and even their beloved country to fight thousands of miles away.
Shawn Thomas was one of these martyrs that gave their sweat and hearts and paid the ultimate price for it.
A passenger on the same plane that carried the officer, Lisa Williams was just expecting to alight from the plane when saw a coffin covered with the national flag being moved from the back of the plane. She then took out her phone to get the moment on video as a woman who seemed like a close relation approached the coffin.
On getting to the coffin, the wife, Tori set her hand on the flag on the coffin and burst into inconsolable tear, creating a very emotional atmosphere everyone around.
Lisa posted on her Facebook page, “It was an honor to be on the same flight home as this patriot!” She added, “God bless his family. No eyes were dry where I seated.”
Shawn Thomas got two stars and four medals for his service to his country while he was in the army.
A TV station interviewed Lisa West Williams, and she said, “It was heartrending, I’ve never had such encounter in my life.”
She added, “She thanked me for the video and gave her permission for it to be shared. She said she wanted people to understand that such things go on every day to many families. There are people that leave to serve the country but pay the ultimate sacrifice and come home in coffins.”
Officer Thomas, who was a warrant officer at an army base in North Carolina was deployed for a mission to support the Nigerian Armed Forces in counter attacking the Boko Haram insurgents’ operations in Central Africa. Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist group based majorly in north-eastern Nigeria and some other neighboring African countries. Their increasing radicalization has led to violent uprisings since 2009 when their leader was executed.
More than 20,000 people have been killed since they started their insurgency with an extra 2.3 million people displaced from their homes since 2009. It was against this evil plaguing humanity thousands of miles away that Sergeant Shawn Thomas surrendered himself to help eliminate. He has served bravely against the terrorism and insurgencies in the Middle Eastern countries and at the end in Africa, he will be remembered for his bravery as the millions who have given their lives in service of this great nation.
Following his death, he was given a Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal recognizing his work in the country. He joined the army in 2001 and had served seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The passengers on board the jetliner at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport were asked to stay seated after the plane landed. It was then Tara Thomas was walked off the plane.
Lisa West Williams was among the passengers that saw everything play out from her seat at the window. She had a straight look at the tarmac and saw the coffin being removed from the load compartment of the plane.
Lisa later got to realize the woman escorted off the plane was the widow of the man in the coffin, she brought out her phone and filmed the woman leaning her head and sobbing on the flag before people gathered to console the woman and honor the dead hero.
Shawn Thomas was killed on February 2, 2017, while serving his eighth deployment.
The video Lisa recorded was very emotional and so intimate that it went viral on the internet with millions of views. Such scenes as seen in the video will warm the coldest of hearts and make one shed a tear for the losses suffered by families as a result of wars and violence around the world.
As it was stated earlier, Tara Thomas has been notified of the viral video, and she gave Lisa her blessing to release it to the public. She said she hoped the video would touch people around the world and help people to understand the ultimate sacrifices these people pay in service of the country, and its effect on their loved ones.