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Memorial truck for US Army soldier killed in Iraq is stolen, totaled

A family member receiving a folded flag. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jamarius Fortson)
July 06, 2019

A truck memorializing a troop who died in Iraq was stolen from his family’s driveway and totaled.

After Cpl. Michael E. Thompson, 23, was killed in September 2008 on deployment to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, his father had his truck customized to serve as a rolling memorial. That truck was stolen from the family’s driveway last month and destroyed in a rollover accident, KFOR News reported.

Michael Thompson bought the truck less than a year before he was killed. His father, Kory Thompson said, “This was the last piece that was his.”

The truck was stolen from their driveway on June 26.

“It usually stays in the shed out there, but we had moved it out because we’re moving,” Kory Thompson said.

Kory Thompson notified the police about the missing truck and it didn’t take long for them to find it. They soon informed the Thompson family that the truck was discovered in a ditch two miles away. It was totaled in a rollover accident.

“I knew it was probably going to be bad because it was a rollover, because the cop said it was a rollover,” Kory Thompson said. “It was devastating.”

He added, “I could never get rid of it. What it is right now, it will never be again.”

Kory Thompson originally had the truck customized front to back and covered with the American flag and other symbols to remember his son. “I want to make a rolling tribute to him,” he explained.

“The tailgate really tells the whole story of the truck: ‘All gave some, some gave all,'” he added.

The truck can be repaired, but it will be an expensive endeavor for the family. They’ve set up a GoFundMe for help in raising funds for the truck’s repairs.

Kory said, “My vision is for it to be on the road again. But just as a tribute, as tribute to all veterans and especially those that gave all and the families that gave all.”

Michael Thompson was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment, Task Force 34 with the Oklahoma National Guard. He was a door gunner on a Chinook helicopter that crashed shortly after takeoff in Tallil, Iraq on Sept. 17, 2008.

Also killed with Thompson were Chief Warrant Officer 2 Corry A. Edwards, Sgt. Daniel M. Eshbaugh, Sgt. Anthony L. Mason, 1st Sgt. Julio C. Ordonez, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brady J. Rudolf and 1st Lt. Robert Vallejo II, Military Times reported.

“He was a great person, he was a great patriot. He loved his state; he loved his county. He loved his country. He was a great American and we need more of that in this world today,” Kory Thompson said of his son.

Kory Thompson said he is currently awaiting an estimate for the cost of repairs.