February 14, 2013
OSD Medal for Valor Presented to PFPA Officer
Story by Heather Paynter, Photos by Shannon Giles
The Medal for Valor was presented to a Pentagon Force Protection Agency police officer today during a ceremony in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes.
Officer Alex Thomas received the medal surrounded by friends and family members. “It is a blessing,” he said. “I did what I was trained to do, what I was born to do.”
On Aug. 12, 2011, Thomas observed a fight between two men at a convenience store in Clinton, Md. He identified himself as a police officer and gave commands to the suspect to drop his handgun. The armed man ignored the commands and turned toward Thomas, who then took action to save the victim.
“He responded appropriately despite the risk,” said Steven Calvery, PFPA director. “It’s appropriate holding the ceremony in this room, a room dedicated to heroism.”
To date, the Secretary of Defense has awarded 56 Medals for Valor; 27 have been awarded to officers at PFPA. Thomas is an Army veteran and has been with PFPA for nearly 10 years where he is a K-9 officer, working with specially trained police dogs. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Clinton, Md.
Mr. Steven E. Calvery, director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, congratulates Officer Alex Thomas after presenting him with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Valor in a ceremony held today in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes.
Mr. Steven E. Calvery, director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, addresses the audience stating, “Officer Thomas doesn’t view himself as a hero, but I don’t agree with that assumption. He is a hero, and I’m proud to serve with him.”
Officer Thomas poses with his family after receiving the OSD Medal for Valor today in the Hall of Heroes. (L to R) Aletti Queen, his sister, Officer Thomas, Vivian and Alan Thomas, his parents.