The Story behind the Amarillo Native Thomas E. Creek and Why You Should Know It
Have you ever wondered why the VA medical center in Amarillo was named after Thomas E. Creek? Or have you ever wonder who Thomas E. Creek was? Thomas E. Creek is a story about volunteering to serve his country in a time where America was divide but also a story of heroism.
Thomas E. Creek Early Years
Thomas E. Creek was born April 7th 1950 in Joplin, Missouri. And at a young age him and his family went down route 66 and moved from Joplin, Missouri to Amarillo, Texas. Thomas went to Forest Hill Elementary School, Horace Man Junior High School and Palo Duro High School.
Not to get too side tracked from Thomas E Creek but I feel that it is important that I give a brief recap of the 1960s so when I start the next part of Thomas E Creek story you can get the full effect of his story. To start things off you had the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 then you had the Civil Rights protests which had the march on Washington which had the famous "I have a dream speech" and also had bloody Sunday. You also had the Vietnam Protests going on. John F Kennedy was assassination in 1963 then Martin Luther King Jr was assassination in 1968. Then to wrap everything up America had the first man land on the moon 1969.
Thomas E Creek Vietnam war
Thomas E Creek enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on January 16th 1968 and completed recruit training march of 1968 then completed basic infantry training in May 1968 and was promoted to private first class June 1st 1968. In July 1968 was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in September 1968 he was assigned duty as fire team leader with Company I 3rd Battalion 9th Marines 3rd Marine Division and was promoted to lance corporal on November 1st 1968. On February 13th 1969 Thomas E Creek was killed in action near the Cam Lo resettlement village. Creek's squad was escorting a convoy of trucks bringing supplies to Vandegrift Combat Base when it was ambushed. While under enemy motar fire creek moved to a position to attack the hidden enemy while moving to a better position he was shot in the neck and fell into a gully near fellow marines. A grenade landed between Creek and the other Marines and Creek rolled on top of the grenade taking the full blast of the force killing him instantly and saving the lives of his fellow marines around him, Lance Corporal Thomas E. Creek was awarded the Medal of Honor on April 20th 1970.
As I was typing this I had a realization that we are repenting history. And you may be asking how and it is real simple today we are divided in so many different ways right now and for what exactly? See this is one of the great things I love about our military and that you learn to come together to complete a common goal. You learn that your fellow service members are your brothers and sisters and you learn to stop just thinking about your self and to think about the others around you. So now I ask why are we as Americans dividing ourselves up to until these groups? Why does it matter so much if you voted Republican or Democratic, Or if you are a different skin color? Do you really think Thomas E Creek thought about those things before he rolled onto that grenade? No he saw his fellow marines and knew what he had to do. So why can't we put our differences aside and come together?