chapter  10
26 Pages

Going Home

In April 1945, the American wounded were being evacuated from Iwo Jima in the Pacifi c. Among the evacuees was a bosun’s mate who had lost his right arm. A mail carrier before the war, he now brooded over returning home to his wife and two children. As USO entertainers circulated in the ward trying to cheer up the wounded, one of them stopped at this young man’s bed and whispered:

“Come on, sailor. Th ere must be some special song you like.” Th e bosun’s mate named his choice and the girl sang, sweet and low:

You’d be so nice to come home to You’d be so nice by a fi re While the breeze on high Sings a lullaby You’d be all that I desire . …

Tears ran in rivulets down the wounded man’s cheeks, and the underground wardroom lamps picked highlights from the beads that streamed from the other men’s eyes.