Perspective: The Cloy and Tina Richards Story
Above: Tina Richards in her confrontation with Rep. David Obey in March, when he now-infamously fumed about 'idiot liberals'. Left: Cloy Richards today.
It is the middle of a winter's night in 2005 when a Marine corporal named Cloy Richards, working guard duty on the graveyard shift at Camp Pendleton, wakes his mother with an anguished phone call.
"Mom, I've got a gun in my mouth, and I'm gonna pull the trigger," Tina Richards recalls her 21-year-old son saying. "I killed too many women and children. I don't deserve a mom and a sister."
Startled, Richards checks her cell phone battery. "I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to lose him," she remembers. She throws on her clothes and leaves her home in Bakersfield, California, for the base in Oceanside, talking to Cloy most of the way. By the time she arrives, four hours later, he's put the gun away.
Two years before Cloy's first suicidal episode, the gung-ho Marine grunt shipped out on his first of two combat missions to Iraq. It was an adrenaline rush he'd been craving since joining the corps at seventeen, the long-awaited opportunity to test his mettle. But for Tina Richards, a single mother, it was a dreaded prelude to years of emotional turmoil.
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