South Mississippi Man Shares Experience As U.N. Weapons Inspector

Colonel Tom McCormick showed several souvenirs he brought back from Iraq. One was a silver antique cross he purchased for his wife from a small shop at his hotel in Baghdad. Most of his memories from halfway around the world are of long days and rough conditions.

Colonel Tom McCormick said "We worked long, hard hours. We worked 12 hours a day on average. You had to be very careful of the food you ate, because you definitely didn't want to get sick because those bathrooms aren't like our bathrooms".

McCormick was among the first group of United Nations Weapons Inspectors to enter Iraq in December.  McCormick was the only American Inspector on the Missiles Team. The team's job was to inspect Iraqi facilities that produced, designed or tested missiles to see if they comply with the U.N. resolution. The team did find some missiles and missile parts.

McCormick said "The things that Secretary of State Colin Powell talked about with the U.N., our team and another team were responsible for discovering those".

Colonel McCormick said he never felt afraid during his stay in Iraq, but as talk of war escalated, he said "I felt more concerned. But we did our job, so we didn't have a lot of time to think about that".

After ten weeks in the desert, McCormick is thankful to be home. Yet he still remembers the country and the people he met.

McCormick said "The people that we met during our job, an overwhelming majority of them were nice. They have families like we have families and I felt concern for them. I just wish the leaders of the country could get along as good as the working people do".

Colonel McCormick wanted to thank all the people who prayed for him during his mission. He has no plans to return to Iraq.

By: Trang Pham-Bui