Tributes

This Memorial Page Established by-Allyson Echols
In Honor Of LCpl. Thomas Paine Echols, USMC
Our Story
Some people say that their love was love at first sight.  Tom and I aren’t like everyone else.  
We met at a party in January 2004 that was for a mutual friend.  He came off as the complete
opposite as what I was looking for in a boyfriend, he was wild and crazy, assertive and had
just joined the Marines and was scheduled to go to boot camp in a few months.  I was 17 and
he just turned 18 both of us not looked for much out of a teenage romance.  We were
complete opposites in every way, it actually took Tom a week to even convince me to go on a
date with him.  After that first date it was all said and done.  We were going to be together
forever.  Since we did come from such different backgrounds people didn’t give us much of a
chance, but we were fighters we stuck it out through boot camp, SOI and Tom being stationed
700 miles away at Camp LeJeune.  I started my senior year of High School with Tom working
up to his first deployment.  While Tom was home for Christmas leave he asked me to marry
him and I said yes.  Then in March 2005, Tom was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq for 7 months.
Those were some of the toughest 7 months of my life.

When he came home in October is one of the happiest I can ever remember.  I started
attending a small private college. Tom accepted a temporary place in the local recruitment
center where he would be home for a month on recruiting duty.  This started wedding talk
while turned into just getting married at a court house but I could never get home from school
early enough to do so.  So on November 21, 2005 he randomly shows up on campus and we
go to the court house to get married only to turn the circuit clerk judge was out for the day. We
were bummed at first but then found out that the justice of the peace would marry us if we
went to his barbor shop.  So we walked to his barbor and got married!  It was nothing big or
fancy, it was the fact that we were finally married that really counted.  We always planned to
have a big fancy celebration with our families but never had the chance.  After my school
ended in May I moved to North Carolina to be with Tom. That summer is still t!
o this day my favorite summer of all time.  We really got to connect and go back to the people
each other knew from years ago.  Even with the ever lingering thought in the back of our
heads that Tom was scheduled to deploy again in September.
On August 31, 2006 we found out that I was pregnant, due May 12, 2007.  Then on September
6, Tom left for Ramadi, Iraq.  That was the hardest day of my life.  Watching him step on that
bus was the most pain I have ever been in.  I moved back home to stay with family while Tom
was in Iraq, then during the early morning hours of December 5 I got the dreaded knock on
the door, Tom had been killed the day before while on post.

The next 2 weeks I don’t remember much, which is probably for the best.  The baby was very
demanding of me at that time, I always say if it wasn’t for the baby, I wouldn’t have made it
through those 2 weeks.  On December 28, I found out that our baby would be a little girl and I
named her Julia Marie because that’s what Tom picked out.  The next 5 months were filled
with missing Tom, worrying about the rest of the unit still in Iraq, and going to doctor’s
appointments.  Finally, on May 16, my doctor had me induced and I gave birth to our beautiful
little (Tom Jr) girl, weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces early on May 17.    Julia is now 2 still looks
and acts just like Tom and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I have begun to move on, I’m
back in school, trying to finish my bachelor's in Education.  Now my main goal in life is to
make sure Julia grows up know who her daddy is and why he is a hero

~Allyson Echols~

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-paine-
echols&pid=20263254

ECHOLS, LANCE CPL. THOMAS PAINE, USMC, 20, of Shepherdsville, died on Monday,
December 4, 2006 during combat in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. Tom was born on January
2, 1986 in Mt. Clemens, MI. He attended Bullitt Central High School where he was a part of the
school's Army Junior ROTC and drill team and graduated from Riverview High School in
2004. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, I II
Marine Expeditionary Force stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC. He is survived by his wife, the
former Allyson Salyer; his parents, Kurt and Rose Echols of Naples, FL; his sister, Becca
Miller; and brother, Alex Echols, both of Shepherdsville; his grandparents, Jerry and Sharon
Echols of Sierra Vista, AZ, and Donald and Mary Wight of Algonac, MI; and his great-
grandmothers, Eleanor Hoffman of Seattle, WA, and Zella Wight of Lansing, MI. Public
visitation will be from 11 a.m. -8 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2006 at Maraman Billings
Funeral Home in Shep!
herdsville.
Lance Cpl. Thomas P. Echols
United States Marine Corps
KIA 04 December 2006, Iraq
Sign Guestbook
20, of Shepherdsville, Ky.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine
Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Dec. 4 while conducting
combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq.