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The war hits home

Sgt. James Thode was killed in action in Afghanistan on Dec. 2, 2010.

His mother, Eve, and stepfather, Ron Taylor, are Pagosa residents.

Jim, his wife, Carla, daughter Ashley and son Thomas were frequent visitors to Pagosa and known by many folks at Pagosa Bible Church, as was his sister from Tucson, Mary Thode.

Jim’s family lives in Kirtland, N.M., where Jim was a 14-year veteran of the Farmington police force. He was a training instructor, sharpshooter and member of the SWAT team.

In Afghanistan, Jim was assigned to a sapper unit within the Utah National Guard. Jim was killed by a roadside bomb. He was 45 and was like a father figure to his men. He was a born leader, well respected and highly trained — a man of faith and integrity. He was so proud and protective of his men. He turned down an opportunity for an advanced leadership position to stay with his “boys.”

Everyone his life touched will miss Jim. (See his obituary in this issue of The SUN.)