District 2 City Councilmember Robert Thoms, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War who currently serves as a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, has been involuntarily recalled to active duty for a six-month tour of duty in Kabul, Afghanistan starting in March 2018 in support of Operation Resolute Support. State and federal law allow for elected officials to take extended leave for involuntary recalls to military service.
“It is always an honor to respond to our nation’s call to service; I will be serving as a public affairs officer in support of the war on terror and ISIS,” said Thoms. “My family, friends and council colleagues support my commitment to serving in the U.S. Navy and, while I will miss my family, I look forward to representing Tacoma and our community members in District 2 while supporting the capabilities of our troops in Afghanistan. Fighting to ensure our nation and community are safe will be my top priority while I am there.”
At-Large Councilmembers Lillian Hunter and Conor McCarthy have agreed to pay special attention to the needs of community members in District 2 during Thoms’ absence. At the conclusion of his deployment, Thoms plans to return to Tacoma and resume the rest of his term.
Mayor Victoria Woodards, who served as a soldier in the U.S. Army while stationed at Fort Lewis, said of Thoms’ involuntary recall to active duty: “I’m extremely proud of Tacoma’s strong military heritage and I support Robert and his service. His military career and experience continue to be a tremendous asset to our community.”