Granbury High School graduate Thomas Christopher (Chris) Ward, son of Mary Rodgers Hattox and the late Tom Ward, will soon become a colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
Colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank and is just below the rank of brigadier general.
Former Mayor David Southern, his wife Claudia, and current Mayor Jim Jarratt are planning to attend the Thursday, Sept. 30 ceremony at Hanscom Air Force Base near Boston, Hattox said, and state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, has provided a Texas flag that has flown over the state capitol.
Ward, 44, graduated from GHS in 1995. He played soccer while in high school and earned the Heart Award for his devotion to the sport.
Former U.S. Rep. Charles Stenholm, who represented Texas’ 17th district from 1979-2005, sponsored Ward for the United States Air Force Academy. He graduated in 2000.
Hattox said that August Pflueger, the Republican congressman currently representing Texas District 11, which includes Hood County, was among her son’s classmates. He has been invited to the ceremony.
She stated that her daughters, Amy Stokes and Lori Johnson, plan to be present when she pins the Silver Eagle pin on their brother’s uniform.
Ward earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Air Force Academy. He also earned three master’s degrees.
One master’s degree is in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University, which he received in 2008. The second, earned in 2014, was in operational air and science from Air University’s Air Command and Staff College. The third master’s, completed in 2020, was in strategy from Air University’s Air War College.
In 2007, Ward was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
From 2016-2019, he was material leader for command-and-control applications at Hanscom AFB. He returned to that base after completing war college.
Ward is married to fellow Air Force Academy graduate Mary Jenny Hinton. They have two sons, Thomas (Tommy), 11, and Benjamin (Ben), 9.
David Southern said that he and his wife hosted the couple’s wedding reception at their home near the square.
He also said that he and Claudia traveled to the Pentagon a few years ago to see Ward become a lieutenant colonel.
“I’ve known him since he was in high school, and he was a good kid, a very good kid — and very bright, obviously,” the former mayor said.
Hattox, who is married to attorney Richard Hattox, said that her son is a “marvelous boy” and that her family is “thrilled” by his achievement.
“Chris has faithfully and honorably served his God, his family and his country,” she stated.