by: Submitted Photo - Cpl. Michael Thomas

   Corporal Michael J. Thomas, the son of Michael and Debbie Thomas of Madras, received a Meritorious Mast award Feb. 1, from the Marine Corps for achieving a gpa of 96.58 percent, and placing first in his class during Marine Corps Security Force Training.
   Cpl. Thomas is currently training with security forces in Northfolk, Va., and is scheduled for duty on the island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf this summer.
   Thomas was a Madras homeschool graduate in 1999, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in December 2000, and re-enlisted in October 2004. His assignments have included providing security for nuclear submarines, for President Bush during his visit in the Middle East, and for other U.S. interests.
   In 2003, during Operation Enduring Freedom, he served with the Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Philippines. His service has also taken him to Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Guam, and other parts of the world.
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