Tom Richardson: A Soldier at War

Article by Reese Macmillan

Persian Gulf War: Colonel Richardson's story

Tom Richardson was a regular guy. Going into the Army changed his life forever. In 1991, after years in the Army, he was asked to go overseas to fight in Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf War. When he told his wife that he had been asked to fight in the Middle East, she told him that if that was what he had to do, then he should do it to help their country. Tom and the people back home fully supported the cause for the U.S to go to Saudi. When Tom arrived in Saudi Arabia, the conditions weren't as bad as expected. The soldiers stayed in dorms that had never before been used. They had a bathroom, and a good-sized room that was where the soldiers kept their sleeping bags. At night, there were some problems, though. SCUD missiles, which which can be deadly, were fired at the dorms that they were staying in. This made the entire group of soldiers nervous. Tom stayed uninjured, but this call was way too close. The coalition, led by the U.S military, dominated the war, and after 6 months, Tom was on his way home. However, Tom thought that they should've kept going and invaded Iraq further.

Persian Gulf War: Info on the War

The Persian Gulf war began when the Iraqis invaded Kuwait. They invaded because Hussein said that Kuwait was really a part of Iraq, that Kuwait had stolen from some of Iraq's oil fields, and that Kuwait had spent too much of their OPEC money. Iraq invaded, and nearly 700,000 troops from all around the world built up to stop them from invading. This was called "Desert Shield". The Iraqis wouldn't turn back when told, so the coalition forces attacked the Iraqis in what was known as "Desert Storm". The coalition completely dominated the war and had the soldiers surrendering after only months.

Operation Iraqi Freedom: Tom's Story

Tom was welcomed home from Desert Storm like a hero with yellow ribbons around the trees and a big party. 13 years later however, he was asked to go to Iraq to fight in the second mission in the War on Terror, "Operation Iraqi Freedom." When he arrived, the living conditions weren't that nice. The soldiers lived in trailers "in the backyard of one of Saddam Hussein's companions," as Tom stated. This made him a bit nervous, but the technology was improved for the Americans so they could defend themselves if needed. Tom said, "We still used many of the same missiles, like the tomahawk and the patriot, but the ground weapons were greatly changed." Tom was completely confident due to his former experiences against the Iraqi army. He was prepared and knew all of their tricks. The war was won by the U.S after a long and gritty campaign, but Tom was able to go home to family after only 6 weeks.

This was a Street where Parades were held for Saddam Hussein.

Operation Iraqi Freedom: Info on the War

This war started because the U.S wanted Saddam Hussein removed from power because he had been accused of making WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and also so the U.S. could help set up a stable government for the citizens of Iraq. Also, there were zones called "no-fly zones" that were set up to protect minorities of Iraq who were fighting against Saddam. The war was a long-lasting, and very violent war. The U.S. eventually found Saddam Hussein in a Spider Hole and he was executed by his own people.

About Tom

Tom (right) served as a Colonel in the U.S Army and fought in several wars including Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. in now lives in Woodstock, GA at home with his wife. He is interested in hunting, and like all retired people, he enjoys playing golf.