Thomas W. Young has logged nearly 4,000 hours as a flight engineer for the Air National Guard in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, and elsewhere, including Latin America, the Horn of Africa, and the Far East. Military honors include two Air Medals, three Aerial Achievement Medals, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He continues to serve with the Air National Guard as a Senior Master Sergeant.
He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studied writing there and at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, among other places. He is also the author of the oral history THE SPEED OF HEAT: An Airlift Wing at War