MADISON (WKOW) -- A simple military burial is all Thomas Lucas wanted, because, unlike many veterans, friends say he was proud to share how he served the United States.
Greg Smith, a friend, and fellow paratrooper said, "On the morning of December 7, 1941, Tom heard that the Japanese military in a surprise attack had bombed Pearl Harbor. We were at war."
Lucas shared with Smith many stories about his time in World War II and the Korean War.
"I was interviewing Lucas in 2018, and Lucas said I don't care what anyone says. There are no atheists in foxholes. More is the ultimate game-changer. God is consulted frequently."
During his military service, Thomas Lucas received four purple hearts and one bronze star.
Jacci See, a friend of Lucas said, "I can't help but think Tom Lucas and his courageous buddies who went in first were the reason my dad and all those who followed had a chance of surviving at all."
In 2019, Lucas was honored by Governor Tony Evers for his service in World War II and also received his Master's certificate 60 years late because of his service in the Korean War.
Smith said, "Through negotiation with the UW we were able to get Tom his graduate school certificate. So at that ROTC ceremony, he was given that and he broke down and cried, as a bunch of us did."
After 98 years of service to our country and Wisconsin, Thomas Lucas was buried at Resurrection Cemetery.
See said, "Tom, your fellow Rotarian salute you not just for your outstanding service, but your friendship in service to the community over so many years."
Smith said, "Tom didn't know the way to quit and I feel privileged and honored to have had the opportunity to have met him."