Morgan County resident Tommy Capps is being honored for his service to our country as a finalist in the Dickie's American Hero of the Year Contest.
Capps is currently a close second place in the contest, and voting will continue through Aug. 6 at http://militaryhero.com/vote. You can vote daily.
After dropping out of high school at the age of 18, Capps was drafted into the Army in 1966 and served in small arms infantry. After just three months and one day into his deployment in Vietnam, he was wounded in action during one of his many missions to search and destroy enemy weapon caches. He lost his left eye and part of his left arm. Shrapnel caused nerve damage to his face, and his body still contains some shrapnel.
Upon coming home to Stover, Capps returned to high school. He laughs about being the only senior that also drove a school bus.
After graduating at the age of 21, Capps went on to having a full and successful career in law enforcement, protecting the young and helpless Missouri. He has served as a deputy sheriff, chief of police and detective.
At the completion of his distinguished career in law enforcement in 2010, he had been instrumental in investigating sexual abuse and murders of children. Capps spent the last 13 years of his career with the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team and was influential in aiding the conviction of more than 230 abusers and pedophiles to prison.
Capps now suffers from Polycythemia Vera and takes chemo every day. In retirement, he works on his nine acre chestnut orchard near Versailles.
Capps has also influenced the next generation to serve our country. His son Andrew joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Operation Desert Storm. His stepson, Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney Dustin Dunklee, serves as a captain in the National Guard and just completed a tour in Kuwait as a JAG officer.
The winner of Dickie's American Hero of the Year will receive $25,000. Finalists receive $1,000.