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Soldier Battling Two Wars: Wheeler County Man Pens Autobiography

Soldier Battling Two Wars: Wheeler County Man Pens Autobiography
TELLS HIS STORY — Alamo resident Thomas Lott talks about his new book as he sits in the front office of the Wheeler County Chamber of Commerce in Alamo. The book, Soldier Battling Two Wars, is available through
Soldier Battling Two Wars: Wheeler County Man Pens Autobiography
TELLS HIS STORY — Alamo resident Thomas Lott talks about his new book as he sits in the front office of the Wheeler County Chamber of Commerce in Alamo. The book, Soldier Battling Two Wars, is available through

Alamo resident Thomas James Lott, Jr., has written a soul-baring story of his life that he hopes will help others who are going through rough times. In Soldier Battling Two Wars, Lott is brutally honest, often at his own expense, in relating the facts about his journey from a tumultuous childhood, through the throes of adolescence, and into an adulthood filled with struggles as he balanced a military career and family life.

“This is a true story about how I overcame adversity in my life. Some people may ridicule, judge, criticize, or no longer call me a friend, as some have already done. Nevertheless, these are the struggles I endured as a soldier and husband,” Lott revealed.

Lott was born in Ocilla, the second of six children. He later lived in Willacoochee with his paternal grandmother, then, after his parents divorced, lived in Alamo, where his mother remarried. He started school in Wheeler County and recalls having a close relationship with his grandfather as he grew up. At an early age, he discovered sports — and girls. Lott described his mother as a hardworking woman who did not allow her children to hang around in the streets after dark; nonetheless, Lott began to get into trouble as a teenager. After stealing a checkbook and trying to cash a check, he ended up in court, but was given probation because he did not have a prior record.

Lott played sports in high school, and admitted this was a time that he was sexually active. By his senior year in high school, Lott was voted “Mr. FHA” and “Best Dressed,” but by the time he graduated, his girlfriend was pregnant. His plans to join the military were put on hold as he went from job to job trying to find a way to support himself, his girlfriend, and the baby that was coming. Eventually, he turned to selling drugs. After his best friend was shot and killed, Lott decided to turn his life around, but there was another challenge. Lott’s daughter was born with a rare condition, Larsen Syndrome, that affects the development of the bones. She needed special care. The stress of the situation pushed apart Lott and his girlfriend, and he decided that then would be a good time to make good on his ambition of joining the military.

After enlisting in the Army and undergoing basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Lott and his girlfriend reunited and married. Lott began his career as a soldier and was first stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. A second daughter was born, but the marriage became shaky. Lott was reassigned to Fort Gordon and the marriage continued to deteriorate with spousal abuse and affairs occurring. Lott was next assigned to Saudi Arabia, and then the couple, who had somehow continued to survive the turmoil in their marriage, moved to Germany for Lott’s new assignment. There, the Lotts decided to turn over a new leaf and started going to church; he was even appointed a deacon. “It felt as if nothing could stop us from growing spiritually,” Lott said. But during his next assignment in Fort Carson, Colorado, Lott returned to his old habits. “I tried with everything in me to fight off the old ways…the devil knew my weaknesses,” he wrote. While assigned to Fort Carson, the couple’s third child, a son, was born prematurely at 28 weeks. Stress was still predominant in the Lott household.

After his son’s birth, Lott was deployed to Iraq for 11 months. He was then was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, went back to Fort Hood, and then embarked on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He later returned to Fort Hood. Somehow, despite the turmoil in their marriage, the couple still held on and moved together to Hawaii, but they both knew they were fighting a losing battle. “We were toxic to each other,” Lott wrote.

After 25 years, as Lott neared retirement from the military, he and his wife decided to buy a home, settle down, and try to be a family. She chose to move to Georgia — specifically near relatives in Alamo. The couple committed to staying in the small community until their son finished high school. Lott embraced country life with dreams of hunting and fishing in the county’s wide open spaces. He became involved in politics and won a seat on the Alamo City Council. He also served on the Board of the Wheeler County Chamber of Commerce and joined the Lions Club. His wife worked remotely for a company out of Cincinnati. The new life should have been working, but it wasn’t. Too much damage had occurred over the years. The marriage was irretrievably broken, and the couple divorced in 2021.

Lott moved on. He is now engaged to a woman from Laurens County, where he works. He is in close contact with his children and grandchildren, and he finally sees that silver lining that has been so elusive. He related, “My story tells the highs and lows, joys and pains, laughter and tears, and the trust and deceit. The military way of life can be very hard on your marriage, your mind, and your body.” Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, insomnia, depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety, Lott has been seeing a psychiatrist since 2016, and is working hard to rebuild his life. He shared that he now has two dogs and goes fishing and hunting, just as he planned. “Through this and the help of my loving fiancée, with God's grace and mercy, I am becoming the man I want to be. I hope my story will touch someone out there and encourage them to seek help as I did.”

Soldier Battling Two Wars is available through

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