Written By John McElligott
My life in the early military was me trying to stay on the move and just stay busy, make rank, and try to get on the all Navy Swim team or become a Navy Seal. Since Vietnam was just getting to be a magnet for my rank as a Navy Corpsman, I put my name in the pot. My next stop was Camp Lejeune, NC , home for training expeditionary forces including corpsman to go to war. All of my company went to Vietnam, and I went to Cherry Point with the 1st Marine Air Wing. Then one year later, to Vietnam and the 2nd Marine Air Wing. So I volunteered to travel at the drop of a hat and became a Medivac Corpsman and fell in love with saving lives. However, my life changed, and I will never forget when I stepped off the plane in Midland Texas my son’s mother said to my mother in front of me “He has changed”! And, I had. At that point in time I knew I was in a world that was changing, and I needed something to keep me going. That was my son and to this day, he is still my best friend.
However when I came home from the military I was determined to go to college. I remembered my Nugent Brasher course in “How to Study” and remembered what I had learned and to not stop trying.
Well this eventually worked out so that I became the best friend Kim ,my son, ever had or would have until he went to high school and met Sandy. When I was not in school or working, I was with my best friend. The story about his mom and me is not what matters, except that we never abandoned our son and both of us did everything to maintain a relationship that was beneficial to our “Pride and Joy”. He had the best of both worlds and you could see it in his face, smile and the fact that everyone knew him as my little brother.
So after his mother married a great guy (great big guy) from Iowa, who was raised on a farm and played football, our son had even more of the best of both worlds. When the time came for Kim’s mom and husband to move to Houston, we needed to make a deal, and we did!
We agreed on time to be spent with our son, aka “my little brother”. I would send a saving bond to her every month and I would have Kim with me on every holiday and summer. Now that is the best deal I have ever made. We grew up together and I got to teach Kim to do things my father never did. Flying commercial airlines when he was 4 yrs old, coaching him in baseball and Hunting, fishing, flounder gigging in the dead of night, driving a Dune Buggy in the sand dunes of the Outer Banks to name a few. Also, watching Kim country and western dance, all while playing Little League Baseball. Then as time went on, and as I was in college (Duke), again, we had a blast every time he had vacation and holiday. We were the crabbing and pig roasting kings of Duke University. When I Graduated from Duke my first job was in Dallas, and Kim and his mom lived very close by so I got to watch him play peewee football in Garland, Texas since I lived in Richardson just few minutes from him and his school.