TNCC Student, Soldier Brings War in Iraq to Campus through Photographic Presentation

Published: March 6, 2006

THE VIRGINIA PENINSULA – Ferdinand Thomas, a Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) science education major and U.S. Army Soldier brings the war in Iraq to the Hampton campus by way of a presentation entitled “A Journalist’s Perspective of Iraq” Wednesday, March 15 at 2:30 p.m. in Diggs Hall, Room 100.

The one-hour presentation is sponsored by the TNCC Photography Club. Thomas will discuss his combat zone experiences and show a photo album of photos he captured on camera while serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a junior soldier assigned to the 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Richmond, Va.

“I was in Iraq from December 2004 until December 2005. While I was there, I traveled to more than 20 different cities photographing and writing about each of my missions,” Thomas explained. “I spent the first eight months of the deployment as a staff writer for the Scimitar newspaper, which is the largest military publication in Iraq, and the last four months as the assistant editor of the newspaper.”
The California native moved to Hampton in 1996 with his parents and siblings. He graduated from Woodside High School in Newport News, Va., in 2002 and joined the Army Reserve in 2004 after a stint as a correspondent for the Virginian-Pilot. Thomas completed basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. and attended Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md., where he received extensive training in public affairs, photography, writing, editing and newspaper design and layout. Additionally, he trained for deployment to Iraq at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Camp Virginia, Kuwait. Thomas remains an active member of the Army Reserve.

Upon returning home from the war last December, Thomas enrolled at TNCC in January to pursue an Associate of Science degree. “I am part of the ‘2+2’ program and I am trying to transfer to either the College of William and Mary or Old Dominion University when I complete the requirements from TNCC. This is also my first semester in college,” said Thomas.

For additional information on Thomas’ presentation, please contact Shar Wolff, Department Head of the Photography Department at TNCC at 825-2775.

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