Bryan R. Thomas Memorial Scholarship

Bryan R. Thomas Memorial Scholarship

Private First Class Bryan R. Thomas was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. A graduate of Lakeview High School, he loved sports and lettered in both wrestling and football. After graduating from Kellogg Community College, he enlisted in the Army in 2007. Bryan was assigned to the First Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas. He lost his life in a roadside explosion on September 4, 2008 in Bahdad, Iraq.

Bryan is described by family and friends as an “old soul” with a fun loving spirit. He was thoughtful, kind and introspective. He had a dedicated love of animals and their well being. He volunteered and worked at the Humane Society while he was a student at KCC. Bryan was also a skilled horseback rider, earning many honors in showmanship.

His passion was viewing life through a camera lens. An accomplished photographer, his friends said he could turn a photo of anything into art. Bryan joined Operation Iraqui Freedom to document the life of a soldier through his photography. While in Bahdad, Bryan befriended and photographed many of the resident dogs, and was fascinated by the local wildlife, developing a special interest in the water buffalo roaming the Mesopotamian marshlands. He relished his role as the company’s photographer.

Bryan Thomas is not simply a Veteran and Hero; his life has now become a role model for our community. A steadfast and ethical young man, he always lived his life with a sense of duty.


In celebration and honor of Bryan’s life, his scholarship is awarded to enhance the opportunities to learn and develop artistic skills, and to document life’s passions through the camera lens.