2019 Army Volunteer of the Year

By: Pamela Barrington
April 11, 2019

The JBLM Fisher House would be lost without Tom Tinsley at our service. He can enter the room and know exactly what needs to be done. He moves silently through the house replacing light bulbs, removing trash and recycling to bins outside, taking on cleaning duties, and weeding the surrounding landscape. Our stockroom stays organized because he takes the time to sort and place items. Our food items are always kept up to date with his assistance. During the holidays Tom is always available to decorate the House or assist with party planning and execution. 


What I appreciate most about Tom is that he is as caring as he is helpful. When he senses that a guest may be having a rough day, he steps in and strikes up a conversation. When an employee is running around frantically trying to complete a task, he is right at our side to see it through to the end. The other day Tom came to me, with a pained look in his eyes, and told me that he was sorry that he would not be able to make it the next week because he was having a medical procedure. I watched him count out on his hand how many days of recovery he expected but he perked up and said that he could possibly be out sooner and that I would see him the very next day. His dedication to the mission of the Fisher House and the families who currently reside here is unmatched. It is an absolute blessing to have him as part of the JBLM family. 


He has made a measurable impact over the past 3 years as a passionate volunteer. He has dedicated 1180 hours of volunteer time since 2016. Our home is only one of the multiple organizations that benefit from his sustained and selfless voluntary service. His contribution to others becomes more impressive when you consider his involvement with his busy schedule as a husband, dedicated father, and proud grandfather.


Tom served in the United States Army for 20 years and served another 20 years with the Thurston County Police Force. His love for the military community and the underserved populations surrounding JBLM will extend far beyond this year.