Meet the Staff: Thomas Warner
Thomas Warner is a veteran and Parkland student studying photography, a hobby of his. He also works as a photographer for the Prospectus.
Warner enlisted with the U.S. Air Force while he was in high school in Atwood, Ill. When he graduated in 1968 he began his four years of service.
Warner served a year in Vietnam before being stationed in the U.S.
“Jet engine mechanic was what my specialty was,” Warner said.
After he was done serving in the Air Force, Warner worked various jobs before beginning his career as a tractor-trailer driver, which he did for nearly twenty years.
“I started driving a truck, I think because my uncle [did],” Warner said.
He says that being a jet engine mechanic made him a better truck driver because going in he was already good with the tools necessary.
After deciding to change careers, Warner worked at different golf courses for six years. During the winter down season, he decided to try his hand at writing novels.
His first novel is called “The Saga of Alex and His Friends.” It tells the story of a kid who was kicked out of his home and forced to live on the streets. Warner chose to write about this because of the experiences he had with homeless children through his career.
“During my twenty years of driving tractor-trailer trucks, I had seen a lot of homeless street kids; and I remember wishing many times that there was something I could do to help them,” Warner wrote.
“I had been reading online stories and I thought I could probably do just about as good, so I just started playing around [on] the computer,” he said. “I had about three chapters [written]…and I was sharing them with some friends I had online. I finally asked them…‘Well, should I continue [writing] or should I just give my hopes up?’…They said, ‘No, you’ve got a good story going. Don’t stop.’”
The story starts with a character that Warner named after himself, Tom. He is distraught one night around Christmas and goes out for a walk in the cold. He comes across a toy store and is drawn to an angel figurine, which he convinces the manager to sell to him. As he is leaving the store he hears a young boy whimpering in an alley, freezing in the cold. Tom decides to rescue him and the story goes from there.
Warner has two other books that are published as sequels to the first, “The Forgotten Child” and “We Care About Golf.”
Warner was also a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America for a number of years. He says he began as a boy scout himself and then slowly got involved until he was assisting many troops and was the head of his own.
He first became an assistant in high school after he aged out of the younger Boy Scouts groups.
“I went back to the scout master and asked him if he ever needed any help with the boys,” Warner said. “I worked with them for a little bit and he ended up making me junior assistant scout master.”
As part of his time in the Air Force, Warner was stationed in Idaho, during which time he became involved with Boy Scouts again.
“First day out there, I was looking around how you’ll do in a new area and I [saw] scouts going into a building…Scouting [was] in my blood at that time, [so] I had to go check it out,” Warner said. “Next thing I know…I was assistant to about three [or] four different troops…and scout master of another one.”