“Echo Recon”, were the words Top said,
Just the thought brought me much dread!
11F40 was my MOS,
Ops and Intel, where was my desk!
So I gathered up every possession I had,
And went out to the Quan Loi heli-pad.
And as on my duffel I did sit,
I thought,”Now I’m in a world of shit!”
So as I sat and pondered my fate,
Someone said, “The choppers late!”
“Where ya’ headed?”, this warrior said,
“To Echo Recon”, I replied with dread.
“That’s who I’m with!”, he said real loud,
And of his unit he was proud!
“Mother’s the name I’m the RTO”,
I said, “I’m Leigh Livermore”.
Now he was tall and dirty and mean,
The most ferocious warrior I’d ever seen.
His fatigues were stained red from the clay,
He looked like Rambo on that miserable day.
I left my rank right there on the pad,
As he made me the best offer I’d ever had.
“You stick with me and I’ll show to you,
What you need to know to see you through”.
The chopper came and we departed,
And I had been so damn downhearted.
But somehow I knew with my newfound friend,
That this was the beginning and not the end.
We were inserted with Recon out a short ways,
They had been humping the bush for 30 long days.
For six more days we searched our AO,
And each of the guys I came to know.
There was LT and Corn and Roxy and Rock,
Hutch and Cossey and Susie and Doc.
Turkey and Cossel and Chico and Dob,
Martin, Douma, Bird, and Sniper Bob.
Stallion was there and Lion, no doubt,
Along with a couple of Kit Carson Scouts.
Mother introduced me to them all around,
And showed me how to relax on the ground.
He taught me how to make a shelter so tight,
Not a drop could come in on a monsoon night.
As I lay down my head after a long days end,
I was grateful I had such an unselfish friend.
As time went on he taught me much more,
How to be a man amidst all of this horror.
For he never faltered in doing the right deed,
To help his Recon Brother in need.
He was always looking after one or the other,
That’s how he got his nickname of “Mother”.
He looked after every one of us first,
And only then would Mother quench his own thirst.
One day while working a weapons cache’,
I saw Mother coming my way.
He had ice cream in an artillery can,
And a spoon carried in the other hand.
“I got dry fatigues and your mail”, he said,
All hell broke loose and an engineer lay dead.
Though wounded himself he thought of the others,
That was typical of this man called “Mother”.
Under fire he crawled out into the dirt,
To tend to a man who was severely hurt.
Only with help did he retreat to the hole,
And allow another himself to console.
I knew that Mother would never be back,
When they flew him out on that medevac.
I was truly crushed to see my friend go,
How was I now to get through this war?
For 32 years I looked for “Mother”,
My much revered Echo Recon Brother.
I found him in June of 2001,
A reunion was scheduled and so it was done.
We met again at last in 2002,
And “Mother” I just want to say to you.
“Thanks for being such a good friend!”
This is the beginning and not the end.
-Leigh Livermore, May 28, 2002