The Best Deal I Ever Made!

Written By John McElligott

Kim and Dr. John – June 2021

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.

4 thoughts on “The Best Deal I Ever Made!

  1. Curtis Harvey June 24, 2021 / 1:38 pm

    Another good story, John. I did my Vietnam tour 1969-1970. By the time I went to Vietnam, I was 28 years old. I began my Army career in 1959 after graduating Midland High School. I started my service as a Recruit E1, but by 1969 I had served six years, gone to OCS, been to flight school, and went to Vietnam as a Captain and a pilot. I commend you for your service as a Medivac corpsman. Most who haven’t served in a combat zone cannot imagine the dangers involved in that, and the pure guts and determination required to do that. I was a changed man when I returned from Vietnam, as I suppose most were. Defying death every day gives some perspective to life in the USA. Thank God you made it home safely, and congratulations on your post-Vietnam accomplishments!

  2. John McElligott June 25, 2021 / 8:17 am

    Curtis
    Write us a post. I am in Nashville TN with Don Hammock MHS 58 and Tom McElligott MHS 59. My son and still best friend Kim, his wife Sandy. Your era of graduates were very successful and we need them to join us and not be forgotten. John

    • Curtis Harvey June 25, 2021 / 11:29 am

      I was backup to Don Hammock at right end during my Junior season at MHS. I’ll write a post soon. Thanks for the invitation. I consider Tom a good friend, and I still owe him a round of golf because of the one that was interrupted by my wife’s illness in Ruidoso during our mini reunion.

  3. Anonymous June 27, 2021 / 11:08 am

    Thanks for your service John. I just watched band of Brothers which made me think of you and the dangerous situations that you were in. Sure glad you survived! Great story about Kim who you know I had the pleasure of working with not knowing that he was your son. Keep up the good work!

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