Stonewall native carries on family tradition

By Staff
BRONZE STAR Lt. Col. Jacqueline Walsh, left, 315th Training Squadron commander, presents the Bronze Star to Capt. T.J. Hamrick, the 315th's operations intelligence flight commander, on June 18. Hamrick is a native of Stonewall and a 1989 graduate of Quitman High School.
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Nov. 2, 2003
U.S. Air Force Capt. T.J. "Jay" Hamrick is continuing a family tradition.
Just like his father and grandfather, Hamrick enlisted in the military and fought in a war. Hamrick was in Iraq, his dad was in Vietnam and his grandfather was in World War II.
And recently, just like his father and grandfather before him, Hamrick was awarded the Bronze Star.
Hamrick arrived in Kuwait on March 18 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom; he stayed overseas through April 28. Hamrick said the conditions in Iraq were rough.
Feared for safety
Hamrick said there were times when he feared for his safety.
Hamrick graduated from Quitman High School in 1989 and from the University of Mississippi in 1993 with a degree in public administration.
He is currently stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, where he lives with his wife, Kristi.
Hamrick's supervisor, Lt. Col. Michael McGee of the 4th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Group, nominated him for the Bronze Star. But the U.S. Army approved him for the award.
Words of praise
McGee's nomination praised Hamrick, saying his ability to use intelligence reconnaissance and his knowledge of weapons systems' capabilities allowed him to quickly recommend a plan of action that assured maximum destruction in minimum time.
As an example, Hamrick discovered Hamburi Republican Guard units as they tried to reinforce for the battle of Baghdad. He was able to focus air power assets to destroy the units prior to entering the city.
Does Hamrick believe in the war in Iraq?
His advice for young people wanting to join the military?