SAC Gary Thompson


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Senior Aircraftman Gary Thompson, who at 52, operations, died after his Wolf Land Rover was blown up while patrolling outside Kandahar airfield along with his comrade SAC Graham Livingstone on 13th April 2008.
A "devoted father" who was the "rock and foundation" of his family of five daughters was named by the Ministry of Defence as one of two servicemen killed in Afghanistan.
In a statement SAC Thompson's family said he had "touched the lives of everyone who knew him". "Gary was more than our hero, he was the rock and foundation of our family. Words cannot express how much he was loved and how proud of him we are. Gary, you have had our hearts from the beginning and now they are yours forever." He leaves behind, his wife Jacqui and five daughters: Laurie, 24, Aimee, 22, Jordan, 20, Jade, 17 and Kelly, 16 - who he said inspired him to serve in the war against the Taliban. He was quoted in the Rutland and Stamford Mercury in February as saying: "I have five daughters, three of whom are at university. I want women in Afghanistan to be given the same opportunity that my daughters have had. It means I can come back and say I have played my part in trying to make that happen."
The airman had originally joined the RAF for four years in 1973 but left to pursue a civilian career that ended with him becoming the managing director of Sherwood, a plumbing firm in Nottingham. Approaching his 50th birthday he joined up with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 2005 and deployed to Afghanistan 3 Squadron RAF last February 2008.
The RAF Regiment patrol was targeted by a hidden roadside bomb in which two other servicemen were injured on Sunday 13th April 2008.
SAC Thompson's colleagues described him as "a father figure to us all" who constantly talked about his family and how much he missed them. He had always noticed when one of us had been down, even though we tried to hide our emotions from him, with this compassion you were always left feeling better within yourself," he fellow servicemen said in a statement. "The energy with which he approached his work belied his age and set an example for those around him."
Squadron Leader Richard Langley, the commander of 3 Squadron, said: "Fitting in immediately, his skills and humour were such that all held him in the highest regard. " 'Tommo' was not one to seek the attention, but was the voice of calm and reason who continuously supported the Squadron's less experienced gunners."

Added by: Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph on 26th October 2010.

 

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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
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