Editor's note-The following article is a look at Vermont Sgt. First Class Tom Stone of Norwich. The Army medic died March 28, 2006, while serving the nation in the international war against terrorism. Article writer Capt. Roosevelt and the late Sgt. Stone were members of Task Force Mountain.
Very few people can say that they have walked around the world. Even fewer can say they have treated over 100 men, women and children on a daily basis in a third world country out of an 8 feet by 20 feet shipping container for weeks on end while in a combat zone.
I first met Sgt. First Class Tom Stone about four years ago while working at Camp Johnson in Vermont. He approached me about what he could do to serve full-time in the Vermont Army National Guard again. Stone had worked full-time for the Mountain Warfare School as a medic about eight years prior to our meeting. He left that position when he decided to walk around the world. At that time I was not in a position to assist him, but luckily, this was not the last time we met. Our paths crossed many times and it became evident to me that he was extremely proficient in everything he set forth to accomplish.
In May 2003, Stone deployed to serve with the 124th Regional Training Institute in Afghanistan. I saw him at the deployment ceremony and wished him luck. He seemed rather excited to be going and mentioned that he had not been through Afghanistan during his walk around the world. Stone completed a full tour of duty with the 124th and then volunteered to stay with Task Force Mountain, the unit I deployed with to Afghanistan.
Stone immediately deployed forward to Mazar-e-Sharif with a team of Task Force Mountain soldiers assigned to serve as mentors to the Afghan National Army who were supporting the police force and watching over two weapons sites where demilitarized leaders turned in weapons.