SSG Thomas Jeremy Adams
Home Award Program Recipient
Army Staff Sergeant Thomas Jeremy Adams was born in Jasper, Texas, on June 11, 1977 and raised in nearby Newton, with a twin sister. During his years at Newton High School, he was a stellar athlete and excelled in football and baseball. Upon graduating in May 1995, he attended Tyler (Texas) Junior College, where in 1998 he received an Associate’s Degree in Health and Kinesiology. After college he worked a series of odd jobs, and in February 2007, enlisted in the U.S. Army as a motor transport operator (88M). Two years later, in April 2009, he married the love of his life, Rosie Anzuldua; the couple now has two children, Beverly Ann, age 6, and Scott Edward, age 5.
Staff Sergeant Adams was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 61st Calvary Regiment, 506th Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., which deployed twice (in 2008, and again in 2010) to Afghanistan. Immediately, Staff Sergeant Adams’ supervisors were impressed with his tactical knowledge, assigning him with responsibilities typically given to non-commissioned officers with higher rank and more years of service. An insatiable learner throughout his career, Staff Sergeant Adams consistently sought to develop himself professionally by enrolling in a myriad of classes, all geared at helping him become a better leader, instructor and mentor to his fellow soldiers.
During his first deployment from March 2008 to March 2009, he served as the platoon sergeant’s gunner and completed over 300 missions ranging from resupply mission to combat patrols. While on his second deployment from August 2010 to February 2011, Staff Sergeant Adams served as senior scout, and was charged with the task of leading his unit through some of the toughest and most dangerous terrain in Afghanistan. In this capacity, Staff Sergeant Adams conducted over 100 Quick Reaction Force (QRF) missions, ranging from escorting explosive ordnance disposal units (EOD) as a first responder, to escorting recovery assets.
On multiple occasions during his tour in Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Adams’ unit encountered hits by improvised explosive devices (IED’s). Repeatedly, during these times of peril, says Captain Thomas Csala II, Staff Sergeant Adams’ courage and quick thinking helped save the lives of other troop members. Without hesitation, Staff Sergeant Adams calmly took charge of setting up security and alerting the other units in sector, stopping their movement. In February 2011, while attempting to rescue a lost unit, Staff Sergeant Adams’ convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), the blast of which overturned his vehicle. When his captain pried the door to his vehicle open, he found Staff Sergeant Adams checking on the condition and welfare of his driver and gunner, and seemingly unaware of his own critical injuries. As he was being carried out of the vehicle, Staff Sergeant Adams apologized for not being able to continue his mission: to which his captain replied, “You did your mission-your crew and troops are alive.” Later in Bagram, the platoon would hang a picture of Staff Sergeant Adams to honor him and to inspire those in his unit to never quit.
Staff Sergeant Adams was medically evacuated to Brooke Army Medical Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, where he began intensive therapies for bilateral calcaneul (heel bone) fractures at the hospital’s Center for the Intrepid. At the time, doctors stated there was a 50 percent chance of him ever walking again. But just as in battle, Staff Sergeant Adams’ toughness and determination would prove to be unwavering post-injury as well; after just eight months, he was back on his feet. Outfitted with special Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis, (IDEO) braces, he can now run short distances.
Upon his rehabilitation, Staff Sergeant Adams was medically retired from the Army in November of 2012. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, two NATO Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, and three Army Achievement medals. He is also authorized to wear the combat action badge, air assault badge and the airborne parachutist insignia.
In August 2012, Thomas was happy to learn he was approved to receive a mortgage-free home in Mission, Texas, by Homes For Our Troops and its Home Award Program. He calls the new home “a gift from God,” and feels fortunate that he, Rosie, and the kids are able to live close by his family. Owning their home outright enables Rosie to explore entrepreneurship, and affords Thomas the chance to finish school. Thomas would like to obtain a degree in sports management with the hopes of someday serving as a general manager of a baseball team. He looks forward to many happy years in his home watching his beloved Boston Red Sox team play, especially Dustin Pedroia, who Thomas says, “plays all out and has the heart the size of a watermelon.”