Many heroes emerged after the events that took place on September 11, 2001, and one of those heroes was honored at a recent school board meeting.
Kyle Thomas was a 1998 graduate of Topeka West High School. Inspired to serve his country in the wake of the terrorist attacks, he enlisted in the Army. Sadly, he was killed by an improvised explosive device near Tikrit, Iraq on September 25th, 2003.
When TWHS JROTC officers were notified that Ft. Riley would be donating a building to their school’s program, they decided to honor Kyle by naming it after him. At the school board meeting, with his parents in attendance, the building was officially named the Specialist Kyle G. Thomas Leadership Education Training Center by the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education.
Topeka West Senior Army Instructor LTC Richard Hodgson said, “While I didn’t know him, by all accounts from the teachers who remember him, Kyle was an exceptional young man in all respects. He lettered in several sports and was also very active in industrial arts, stage craft and dance. There are still several teachers here who knew him well and, without exception, they all tell me he exemplified the qualities of a leader and good citizen we try to instill in our young men and women in the JROTC program. I feel naming the JROTC building in his honor is very appropriate.”
Kyle Thomas was a true American hero and Topeka Public Schools is proud to call him one of our own.