Thom Dillon was like any normal American boy. He loved and collected baseball cards. His mother threw away his collection when he went away to college. He doesn't like to wonder if any rare cards became yesterday's garbage.

But Dillon doesn't have to worry too much about valuable cards rotting at the landfill. The Park City businessman has made his own bundle off trading cards - military trading cards from the Persian Gulf war.Though he won't say how much he's made - or expects to make - Dillon admits that his first venture into the trading-card business has been profitable. Dillon, a former Salt Lake television reporter, and Tom Larscheid, his partner in Vision Communications, a Park City firm specializing in marketing videos, will receive 10 percent of the wholesale sales of the 10 million military trading cards produced by Pacific Trading Cards Inc., Lynnwood, Wash.

"It was amazingly easy. It's the easiest money I've made since I've been in business," Dillon said.

It was Larscheid who came up with the idea during the Persian Gulf crisis in late January. The duo approached Pacific's Michael Cramer, who said "it sounds like a great idea," Dillon reported.

Within days, Larscheid, who had spent five years on active military duty and another nine years working on a military base in Germany, was off to the Pentagon to research the military weaponry and gung-ho soldiers depicted on the cards and to collect photographs.

After 21/2 days, he was back in Utah. Dillon wrote the copy for the cards. They selected 132 slides from a pool of 500 for inclusion on the 110 cards.

Their work was shipped to Pacific within two weeks. In a month, military buffs and young boys could collect Pacific's 110-card sets.

Dillon knows that the excitement over the military cards is waning. Today, Pacific's card hero is Nolan Ryan, the 44-year-old pitcher of the Texas Rangers.

But the firm's venture into the trading-card business isn't dead nor even fading away. The businessmen just completed work on trading cards to promote "Bingo," a soon-to-be-released movie about a dog.