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because as it repeats, history will help foretell the future." Milo
  Vietnam September 1967  
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Thomas Cook Army

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Thomas W. Cook - 638 Views
honored by Molly Cavin, Student


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Highest Rank: Spec 4
Entered Service: 9/15/1979
Exited Service: 8/15/1993
Foreign Service Length: 9 months
Continental Service Length: 12 years
Location of Service: Persian Gulf
Gender: male
Basic Training: Fort Leonard Wood Missouri
Military Position: Various
Place of Separation: Mansfield, Ohio
From City: Elyria
From State: Ohio
Current City: Delaware
Current State: Ohio
Date of Birth: 07/1960
My War Stories
  
  1991 After a long, jam packed flight in January from Wisconsin I had arrived at my destination. I was violently ill the entire trip there and everyone had rifles on the plane. I thought it was very odd how everyone was so excited and loud and anxious to arrive. I was thinking to myself, "We're at war!" When we arrived no one knew what was going on, it was very tense and everyone was nervous. We began playing cards. For the first few hours I was there all I did was play cards with people. When we finally were assigned our jobs I was put in the transportation unit. My job was to drive equipment to different places and keep the trucks running. I saw combat, and although most people would be more scared there, I actually felt more safe there. My logic was that if something was going to get bombed, it would be the equipment stations. That's where I was put, so when I saw combat i felt more safe. Out of all 150 people in our unit, only one was injured. I remember one night me and a buddy of mine snuck out to go to the airport. We had wanted to grab a hold of a phone and call our families. I had finally reached my wife when the airport got bombed! I didn't want to tell my wife what was going on because I didn't want her to worry. So i got off the phone real quick and got where I needed to be. Another time I was grabbed by a marine leader and he asked "Are you in the marines?" I answered, "No." He said, "Well you are now!" Then I was a marine for about twelve hours. I thought that was really cool. I really respected that guy, i felt safe with him and I could tell he was guy to stick with. By the end of my service I had three medals: two army commendation medals and one Kuwait freedom medal.
  1991 Overall my experience in service was very beneficial. I earned money for college, I met lots of different people, I got to ride on a plane for the first time, I grew up and became more disciplined, and it opened my eyes to all kinds of different religions and races. I was able to keep in touch with my family and friends through letter-writing and phone calls every once in a while. I was one of the lucky ones that had M.R.E. or Meals Ready to Eat. They weren't too bad. Plus, since I was a driver and I got to drive around all kinds of places I was able to eat at a lot of restaurants. Our service was always well-supplied. Being away from home though caused a lot of stressed. My wife sent me a St. Christopher medal that I always wore around my neck. Also, I had a little ankle bracelet I wore. I had become pen pals with a 2nd grade class and one of the students sent me a little Bart Simpson figure. I kept him in my truck at all times. All of these gave me good luck. To keep myself busy I played a lot of cards, I read, worked out, and listened to the radio. We never had any entertainers unfortunately.
  1993 A lot of funny things happened throughout my service. Sgt. Brooks would often talk in his sleep and a lot of us would imitate him the next day. We thought that was really funny. I remember one time a bunch of us were driving around and I was with some mechanics. A bus had broken down and one of the guys said, "Hey I think I can fix that! Then we can take it!" So that's what happened. He fixed the bus and then we drove around in it. Later we had added speakers to it and everything. We had a lot of fun on that bus. I kept a lot of photographs of my family and friends, even my cats. I kept a personal diary but didn't use it often. I would go weeks without writing in it. The day I arrived in Mansfield, Ohio there was a big party, picnic style. After that day I did nothing for a few weeks (I thought I deserved to be a little lazy). After that I went back and finished up school. I was in my senior year at OSU. I had made all kinds of friends in the service, some of which I still keep in touch with today. I joined the V.F.W. however; they haven't had any reunions for me to go to. I later became a high school teacher. After going twelve years in the service I found out my beliefs on war. I don't think there should be war unless it truly is the last resort.

My War Awards
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • Army Commendation Medal (I did a good job in my service to earn two of these medals.)