Bringing the Internet to Europe
When Tom arrived in Europe, he was obliged to brief every command in West Germany about his new management/communications system. It was not an easy task as the commanders were used to the old system and did not want to change. That began to change as they realized that their communications between units would be considerably improved. Radio signals can be intercepted by their enemies across the "Iron Curtain." The new system allowed for more secure communications. Also, a Wang 2200 personal computer was a lot easier to use than the old mainframe systems.
As the KGB (Russian Intelligence) began to see the new Wang systems in use, they ordered their own Wang 2200 PCs and began to build their own management-communications systems. They feared however, that Wang had built in a "back-door" so American intelligence services could monitor their activities. In the end, they built their own Iskra (spark)-226 clone (pictured to the right) in 1981, which was 100% compatible with the Wang 2200. The Soviets did add some enhancements to their computers, but by the time they had enhanced their system, the United States had moved on to the IBM PC, the IBM XT, and later the IBM-AT (with the Intel 80286 chip).
As the Army units settled into Tom's new system, the Lord had him do other things. One of his biggest roles was distributing Bibles for Gideons International. In West Germany, they were successful placing Bibles in schools, hotels, and even brothels.
However, his biggest adventure in the Bible distribution business came when he smuggled Bibles into Communist Hungary. Anyone who has read Brother Andrew's book God's Smuggler knows how difficult it was to take Bibles into any country behind the "Iron Curtain." The Soviet Communist Party, which controlled every country behind the "Iron Curtain," prided themselves on being atheistic. If the Hungarian authorities had caught Tom bringing contraband Bibles into their country, he would have been immediately arrested and taken to their police headquarters affectionately known as "The House of Terror." People who were taken to 60 Andrássy út in Budapest often never came out and if they did, they were never the same. Tom also risked being court-martialed and drummed out of the Army with a dishonorable discharge. Yet, he felt the Lord calling him to do this. As Brother Andrew learned when he smuggled Bibles into Communist countries, when you do the Lord's Will, He will protect you and insure your safety. Despite distributing the Bibles on the open streets of Budapest, he was never detained or questioned.
When Tom's time in Europe came to an end, he wondered where he would go next? He realized that his career-track had him spending a few months in the United States before he would be assigned somewhere else overseas for the rest of his career. He finally called the Infantry Branch Assignments Officer at the Pentagon to see if he could be reassigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska (The Army still considered Alaska to be an overseas post???). As it turned out, the Alaska command had just sent him their batch of personnel requests. Suddenly, Tom was North to Alaska.