WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - A Fairfax County middle school student is being honored with one of the most prestigious awards from the Navy Seal Legacy Foundation. The 13-year-old is being called a patriot for his commitment and sacrifice for others.
It's called Operation Hawkeye, a reference to Will Thomas's skill at the hoop.
But also to a dog named Hawkeye who loyally stayed by the casket of his master, Navy Seal Jon Tumilson. He was one of 31 men, special operations forces, who died when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan last year.
Will and his dad asked everybody they knew for a pledge a basket. Over Labor Day weekend 2011, it took will 50 hours to make 20,000 baskets. Will raised $50,000 for the families of those fallen heroes.
This past Labor Day weekend, he raised another $30,000 with three-pointers, 3100 of them, one for each of the fallen men. Spencer Duncan, 21, was one of them. His father Dale has been following Will's project.
Now, the Seal Legacy Foundation will thank Will Thomas, by honoring him with the prestigious Unsung Hero Award.
The Seal Legacy Foundation is also honoring businessman T. Boone Pickens for his billions of dollars in philanthropy and contributions to the United States Armed Forces. While 8th grader Will Thomas raised an amazing amount of money, $80,000 total, it's not about the money.
And Will doesn't plan to stop now.
Will Thomas and T. Boone Pickens will receive their awards on November 8th in Dallas.