Loudoun Valley alum honored at Memorial Day service in Purcellville
At Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Lt. Col. Todd Douglas Thomson was honored at a moving and emotional service May 22 on a beautiful spring morning. It was organized by the Veterans Club at Loudoun Valley High School and attended by many in the community who knew and loved him.
After a welcome and introduction by Veterans Club adviser Leslie Bower, club member Stephen Hoffman recognized deceased veterans George Schultz, class of 2002, Stephen Mace, class of 2006, and Michael Quin, class of 2002. A tree for each of them is planted in front of the school with a plaque in their memory.
Cooper Lush sang the National Anthem, followed by a moment of silence led by Sam Combs.
Tagg Francis read a dedication:
Our sons and daughters,
Pride of our nation,
Have served, fought and died
So that we might be free.
How truly immortal are those
Who give their lives for liberty.
Blessed are they whose blood is shed
For the welfare of their fellowman.
Grant them, heavenly Father, eternal peace,
Embrace them and receive them
Into thy kingdom.
Let the living not forget the price
They paid for our freedom.
Blessed are those who mourn:
For they shall be comforted.
Bless are those who fought
And died, for they shall be remembered.
Thomson’s childhood friend Dylan Livesay, a 1993 graduate of Loudoun Valley High School, spoke of his friendship with Thomson.
“I am very humbled to be in front of everyone today. It was an honor to be his friend. Todd was a very funny person. We called him Tree, because he was so tall. We played basketball and track together. He was a tall, gentle giant and larger than life.”
Livesay said some of their best times together were the last few months of Thomson’s life.
“We’d sit together and laugh and reminisce. It was more special than any other time, because we talked about life and us as human beings. He loved life. He enriched my life and taught me a lot as a friend and father. He is looking down and smiling today. I told him I will serve his family for the rest of my life, as he served our country. I will always be there for his family.”
Nancy Rodgers was Thomson’s keyboarding teacher at Loudoun Valley, and she spoke of his years at LVHS with fond memories.
“He was loved and respected by his teachers and peers. He got along with everyone. He was conscientious and motivated and he represented Loudoun Valley High School well and inspired so many people,” Rodgers said.
The service continued with a song by Dennis Brumbak and Catherine Campbell. Skylar Powell read a tribute to all veterans, which included the lines:
The memories of these American veterans will continue to live on./
Whenever and whatever democracy exists./
The American veteran…/
Forever a symbol of heroism, sacrifice, loyalty and freedom.
The service concluded with the playing of Taps by Rick Reaves.
A 1992 graduate of Loudoun Valley, Thomson served for over 20 years in the United States Army Reserves. He earned the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in 2008 as the primary logistics staff officer for the 11th Psychological Operations Task Force in Baghdad, Iraq.
He was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in 2013 to support the Defense Logistics Agency, but it was canceled when he discovered he had terminal cancer.
Thomson died peacefully surrounded by his family on March 13 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He's survived by many loved ones including his wife of 15 years, Robyn Thomson and two daughters, Aynsley and Brynnly. He is also survived by his parents, brother, Ryan, and his wife Melania of Leesburg.
Thomson will be buried July 1 in Arlington National Cemetery.