Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Thomas R. Jones, Sr.  

Pen Name: None


Born: 1944 in Quincy, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Tom was born in Quincy and spent his childhood in Peoria and Chicago. He lived in Springfield from 1980 until his death.

Biographical and Professional Information

Tom served as a Senior Hospital Corpsman with the 3rd Recon Battalion, 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. As part of a six man team he went on Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (LURP) deep into communist insurgent territories. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Services Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. After Vietnam he attended the Navy's Nuclear Medicine and Radioisotope Laboratory at Great Lake Naval Hospital. He also assisted returning veterans in reintegrating to civilian life. Returning to civilian life, he served as Regional Trauma Coordinator at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, and was one of the architects of the Illinois Trauma Program - a nationally recognized emergency medical response system. He was elected to the Peoria County Board of Supervisors where he chaired the Tax Committee. He held several executive positions that included Assistant Director of Illinois Depratment of Veterans Affairs, Information Systems Consultant to Motorola, Inc., and Chief Administrator of the Public Pension Division. In Spring 2010, Tom retired from his position as the Chief Deputy Director of Budget and Fiscal Management for Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White. Tom wrote a body of work that included future science fiction, historical fiction, stage plays, and poetry. In 1988, his mind still hounded by his war experiences he began writing "Lost Survivor." It was published and distributed nationally in September 2006 by Independent Publishers Group of Chicago, Illinois. This book reveals the human experience of war like "The Red Badge of Courage" and "All Quiet on the Western Front."An articulate and engaging speaker, Tom shared his particular war experiences of the survival journey required by the return to civilian life plus anecdotes garnered from his work as a counselor to other veterans and their families. Tom was also a much requested speaker on the topic of the similarities/differences between the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, citing the unique impact of deployment of our National Guard Units.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Lost Survivor: The Novel of a Black Soldier's Journey to Vietnam and Back
ISBN: 0975884069

Pitch-Black, LLC. 2006

Written from a black man’s point of view, this

human drama encompasses the paradoxes of being a soldier in war and a civilian returned to society.

A hard-working, God-fearing 25-year-old when he left his home to fight in Vietnam, Johnny Douglas

said goodbye to his mother and wife and promised he would return—alive and well—in a year. But 13 months in the jungles of Vietnam took

a toll, and in

a world of kill-or-be-killed, nothing could have prepared Johnny for the brutality he faced. Upon his return to the United States, his family soon recognizes that wartime survival

comes at a price as the once-clear distinction

between the streets of home and the jungles of Vietnam

become blurred and war rages

inside Johnny’s head.