Tipton Mayor Tom Dolezal Exemplifies Both Community and Military Commitment

Writer / Natalie Platt
Photographer / Provided

As our nation prepares to honor those who have donned the uniform in service to our country, Veterans Day stands as a solemn and proud occasion, a testament to the sacrifices made by the men and women who have defended our freedoms. One of those brave men is Mayor Tom Dolezal.Tom Dolezal

Dolezal joined the U.S. Army Delayed Entry Program in 1982 at the age of 17, and entered active duty on his 18th birthday in 1983. His basic and advanced armor (tanker) training was in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and he went on to serve for over three years in West Germany. He was stationed there at Wiesbaden for the first 12 months, with the balance of his time in Baumholder.

During his service there, Dolezal had the chance to visit France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and East Berlin before the Berlin Wall came down.

After returning to Purdue University for college in 1987, he joined the 209th Supply Unit, which is an Army Reserve unit in Lafayette. During that time, Dolezal participated in two summer training missions in South Korea.

In 1990 his unit was activated for service in Operation Desert Shield. After a brief training period at Fort Knox, his unit was sent to Saudi Arabia to serve in Operation Desert Storm, and he was was promoted to the rank of sergeant E-5.

Dolezal grew up in northern Indiana and graduated from North Judson-San Pierre High School, where he was influenced by his father and uncles to join the service. Both his father and uncle served in the Army while another uncle served in the Air Force.

Tom DolezalSome of his favorite memories include having the responsibility of showing Congressman Jack Kemp how to fire an M60A3 tank during field training exercises in West Germany in 1985, and receiving recognition as the runner-up in 1986 tank gunnery training exercises, placing second out of 58 tanks in the battalion. In 1990 his unit had the opportunity to welcome Vice President Dan Quayle to Saudi Arabia.

Today, Dolezal’s best friend, with whom he served during Desert Storm, currently lives in Noblesville.

“We have the opportunity to visit on a regular basis and I deeply value his friendship,” Dolezal says.

He has had the honor of serving Tipton as both a county commissioner and the current mayor. Dolezal has also worked with First Farmers Bank & Trust as a commercial loan officer and has been in community banking for 30 years.

“I have a wonderful wife, Christi, who I met at Purdue, who was born and raised here in Tipton,” he says. “We have been married for 32 years and have four children.”

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