Running in memory or in honor of:
“My grandfathers, Jerry Barclay and Joe Regan. Both answered the call to serve the country in WWII in the Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were selfless, kind, humble men. They were my heroes.”
U.S. Air Force
2004 – 2011
When Thomas Barclay finished training in avionics repair, the United States Air Force sent him to Yokota Air Base in Japan to 374th AMXS to repair and keep C-130E/H planes. Within days of his arrival, one of the deadliest earthquakes of the 21st century occurred, devastating Indonesia and other countries along the Eastern Indian Ocean.
“I remember it being a ‘trial by fire’ situation where I had to help support air relief efforts in any way we could, despite being completely green,” Thomas says. In the years that followed he deployed all across Asia, and decided to extend his overseas assignment for three years.
“There’s simply no describing the kind of raw satisfaction that came after a hard day’s work and seeing those planes flying,” Thomas says. Some of the planes Thomas kept in the air were older, having flown in the Vietnam War. There were times when he had to work on extremely tight deadlines making split-second decisions, and learned much more than avionics, as the tightly knit unit worked together as a team.
“It taught me that many of the obstacles we face in life are of our own creation,” Thomas says, “and can be surpassed so long as you trust in yourself and others to get through.”
Thomas was assigned to work on the B-1 Bomber with the 28th AMXS at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD until his enlistment was up. He has traveled back to Japan studying abroad for a year, including some time spent living and working in a Buddhist Temple. He now works as a multiplatform producer at WBIR 10News, and his 2019 team goal is to improve his health while training for the half marathon