All They Wanted Was “Mom”

Please click below to listen to Il Divo, “Mama”

Written by: John McElligott

I cry every time I picked up a wounded or dying Marine. “Mom” was often the last word they spoke!

I mentioned this in a prior story.  I was talking about the first casualty/mission I ever flew out west of Marble Mountain in Nam. The marine was 18 yrs old and was shot in the head with not a drop of blood on his face and a brand new Seiko watch on his left wrist.   All I could think about was his mother. As I said in my previous story I have never been the same since. I wish I could have talked with her but I did not and maybe that is why I still cry, even now, when I think of that day. 

Last night I was watching a movie with Russell Crow called the “Water Diviner”. It’s about 3 of his sons who went off to war in Turkey and were killed. Except one, who the father found out, had survived and was taken to a prison camp. Unfortunately,  no one knew where he had been taken. When he was found, the oldest son told the story to his father. One brother died and one was dying. The dying brother was telling the wounded older brother, who survived, crying he said “I just want to see Mom”!! 

Well that just brought on a flash back of my first solo flight in Nam and my thought of my Marine’s mother not knowing what I knew. So last night, I cried again for my Marine and his Mother!! My wife even cried. 

“Simper Fidelis” to all the Marines who I saw the “MOM” look on their face every day I flew.

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