Tonight, I am particularly glad to be a part of the Navy Musicians Association. Because I belong to that community of MUs, I know I'm not alone in pondering the loss and remembering the life of a friend, teacher and shipmate.
Speaking today with NMA President Terry Chesson, I mentioned that Thumper achieved a fleet-wide measure of respect and admiration.
"Jim Thumpston was everybody's chief," Terry said.
No sailor makes his or her mark alone. We are each the product of those who trained us, who showed us the ropes, who praised us lavishly when we succeeded and chewed us out mercilessly--we thought--when we fell short. Sea stories about furious reprimands from Thumper are as numerous as waves in the ocean. Yet, it is a mark of unusual respect that so many stories of being chewed out by Master Chief Thumpston conclude with these words:
"And it was just what I needed."
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Funeral services for MUCM James D. Thumpston are private. Messages of condolence for Jim's family may be left online at the funeral home's website by going to Newcomer Funeral Home & Cremation Services and clicking on "View messages."