Dooly County native Retired Marine tells his story

Published 10:16 am Monday, October 2, 2023

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By Sarah Brown – Managing Editor

Lt Col Tom Williams was an abandoned child that became a member the Williams Family of Dooly County at a young age. Tom’s Stepfather Carl Felton Williams Jr a Lawyer and son of Carl Felton Williams Sr a second-generation dentist in Crisp County is well known in the community since the 1800s.  Tom graduated from Vienna High School in 1964 and pursued a military career at North Georgia College where he would graduate in 1968 and join the US Marine Corps. Tom served 29 years in the Marines serving two tours in Vietnam along with many other missions and assignments all over the world. Some of his assignments include training the National Guard in Saudi Arabia for six years and the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan for five years. A quote that he mentioned when it came to his job as a leader of command was, “You must give your Marines the skills to kill, the will to kill but never the thrill to kill.” He spent his life travelling the world, a small-town boy from Dooly County becoming what he calls himself now a, “Man of the world.” During his travels he learnt many conversion languages including French, Arabic, Italian, Vietnamese and Dari. Tom retired from the Marines in 1997, and is currently living in Queensland (Hinterland) Australia, which he has called his home for over 20 years. At his current age of 79 he keeps a busy life, writing books, continued involvement with the Marines and building a B&B business in Australia. His current project is writing a series of books called the Heart of a Marine, which covers an authentic account of fighting and surviving in Vietnam. The first book in the series is titled Doorsteps of Hell which follows, “Tom’s life story beginning as an abandoned young child, then travelling the world with his ‘new father’. Follow his path to becoming an Officer of Marines—a multilinguist fighting and surviving in the mud-sicking rice paddies of Vietnam.  Doorsteps of Hell is a moving, riveting and informative narrative told in a style that everyone will easily follow. It is Tom’s story, but more importantly, it is the story of his Marines in combat. The book focuses on Tom’s life as a Marine, serving in Vietnam in the late sixties. It is an enthralling account of what really took place on the battlefield. Unambiguously, it covers the hardships, miseries, and deprivation of amenities, perils and bloodshed. It brings to life the camaraderie, leadership and the very essence of military expertise in the US Marine Corps. This honest, no-holds-barred account of America’s most controversial war will not only capture the interest of those who served but just as importantly, those who are still serving. The brilliant narrative, drawn from Tom’s war diaries, will have you, armed forces or not, engrossed from cover to cover.” Toms says that he wants people to see his books not as just war stories, but lessons learned and to get a view on what military life is like. His first book will be published and available to purchase in December 2023 with plans to have it translated into Vietnamese, French and Italian. Book two Fury of War he plans to publish in the Spring of 2024 which covers his time in Hawaii in the 70’s where he became the First Marine Brigade Shore Party Office at the Kaneohe Marine Corps base which was followed by completing training as an aerial observer at the Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina. In between his series of books, he will also be publishing his war diaries, which he religiously made an entry into each day on the battlefield even through enemy attacks. All of the books are a must read that you won’t want to miss a word.