Versailles Vietnam vet humbled by national hero nomination

Versailles Vietnam veteran Tommy Capps is a top 5 finalist in the Dickies American Hero of the Year contest.

Teresa Capps was shopping online when she came across Dickies American Hero of the Year contest.

She thought her husband, Tommy, would be a good candidate and wrote a 500 word essay to enter the contest.

"He had no idea that I had entered him in this contest, and we were both very pleased and surprised that he's one of the 5 finalists for the American Military Hero of the Year," said Capps.

Tommy Capps was an 18-year-old high school dropout in 1966 when he was drafted into the Army as a replacement...and eventually sent to Vietnam.

Upon arrival, Capps was immediately thrown into combat situations and constantly on guard for signs of the enemy.

A search and destroy mission ended Capps' stint in the war-torn country after three months and one day.

A building exploded, leaving Capps with serious shrapnel wounds, the loss of an eye, and permanent nerve damage in his face.

You do the very best you can do. Whatever it is, you do the very best that you can do but you do more than what you're expected," said Capps.

Capps said the experience gave him the discipline to finish high school and achieve his goals. Retired now, he worked in law enforcement in Stover, Russellville, Laurie, and the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

Capps eventually joined the prestigious State Technical Assistance Team (STAT) to help bring down hundreds of child abusers and molesters.


Tom has always been a good role model and when he was a deputy sheriff he never once had to pull his weapon on anybody because they always referred to him as the Andy Griffith of our community," said Teresa Capps.

Capps said he couldn't have gotten where he is without the support of his hometown community.

"This is not for me as much as it is for our military community and the other folks that have worked throughout their lives doing whatever they can do for the betterment of our overall community."

Capps' son Andrew and stepson Dustin have both spent time in their father's shoes.

Andrew is a former marine in Desert Storm, and Dustin is a Captain in the 35th Combat Division and most recently a JAG in Kuwait.

You can vote for Tommy Capps in the American Military Hero of the Year contest until August 1st by going to