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New Mexico lost one of its most pleasant citizens recently with the death of former state Rep. Tom Foy. If ever a person could be said to always have a smile on his face, it was Tommy, or Tommie, depending on how his friends wanted to spell it.
To my knowledge, he always spelled his name Tom but seemed to have no objection to the diminutive form. He was diminutive.
Many thought of him as a leprechaun. But Tom didn’t need to prove he was a tough guy.
He played football in high school and then survived the horrors of the Bataan Death March and Japanese hell ships and prison camps. Tom didn’t seem to mind talking about his war experiences and the pleasant look on his face didn’t seem to change even then.
When Tom signed up for the New Mexico National Guard, he had no idea what was coming. In 1940, he had just graduated from Notre Dame Law School and taken a job with a Silver City law firm.
Congress had just passed a draft act and Tom figured enlisting in the Guard might be a way to stay closer to home.
But problems implementing the new draft law meant that guard units throughout the nation were called on to fill in the gap to prepare for what looked like an impending war.
The guard activations were for only a year and the New Mexico National Guard would stay together.
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