Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan gave his life on July 16, 2015, in sacrifice for his fellow Marines.
13 Rounds for time:
100m Sand Bag Carry (50m down & 50m back)
7- Strict Pull ups
16- Sand Bag over the shoulder tosses
15- Sand Bag Squats
*boots and utes optional
“Tommy always had that superhero idea in his head.” -Dianne Mullin
Tommy was the kind of man that every Junior Marine around would not only aim to be like but would also turn to when they needed something either on or off duty. Sullivan, with a number of combat tours, one of which during the Battle of Fallujah, and two purple hearts, maintained his esprit de corps and focus on our most basic principles as Marines: taking care of each other. This is something that is often lost in the rest of our culture but is one of the most powerful tools we have as Marines and leaders. Junior Marines eat chow first, hit the rack first, and are taken care of first. This is how Gunny Sullivan lived his life on or off duty. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do for his Marines.
His last opportunity to put others before himself came on July 16, 2015, while serving as Battery Gunnery Sergeant in Chattanooga, TN. On this day, the reservse center came under fire.
“He could have jumped the fence but he didn’t” - Dianne Mullin
Tommy went into action looking for a way out, not for himself, but for his Marines. He started to lead them to safety and after fearing that he would lead them to the gun man, changed his course of action. He knew that they needed to jump the fence. Sullivan lead 13 Marines and Sailors over the fence before returning to the office in an attempt to provide support. This is ultimately where he fell. He was one of four Marines and one sailor that were killed on that day.
Although the events that unfolded that day were unexpected, I don’t think anyone was surprised that Tommy was the man to take charge and make sure that his men got to safety. Putting himself before others seemed like the norm for Sullivan. He was a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, uncle, friend, Marine, and so much more to a lot of people. The comic book loving Dropkick Murphys fan will always be remembered fondly. One of his best friends Jack Hendrix remembers his laugh more than anything, saying “it was infectious and one of a kind.”
Gunny Sullivan is now at rest as the hero he always was and will always be remembered as.
….and for that, MarineWOD salutes you, Tommy, and you will never be forgotten.