In 1991, both Sally Edwards (L) and Lue Hutchinson (R) had sons serving in the Gulf War. Sally Edwards’ son Jack was a Marine Captain. Lue’s son, Tommy Butts, was a Staff Sergent in the Army.
The two men never knew each other, but today, their mothers are best friends.
Sally and Lue sat down for StoryCorps to record an interview for Memorial Day.
Click here for the transcript.
Lue Hutchinson (LH): Tom went to the Army, and then he did something that I thought was absolutely stupid--he learned how to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. But he loved it.
It was the last day of the war. I worked in Wal-Mart, and we found out the war had ended. I was ecstatic when I went home--and came home to a driveway full of cars. Not knowing at that time, until my stepson came out, and told me Tommy was gone.
SE: Tommy's death was in the newspaper. And I wanted somebody to talk to because it wasn't like World War II and Vietnam when everybody had a neighbor who'd lost somebody, so, I wrote to you. I thought if you responded maybe I'd have somebody that I could talk to about how you felt and how I felt.
LH: And your letter was absolutely right on the deck. And those words, if you need help, and you want to talk, I'm here , and that's what I needed.
SE: And so did I, or I wouldn't have written the letter. The last 22 years would have been hell without you, Lue.
LH: It would have been hell without you, too.
SE: Because what's in our hearts we share
LH: When you're the mother, and your child dies in that horrific way, the memory gets tolerable, but never really really goes away.
SE: I don't know what I would do if on a bad day I couldn't pick up the phone and call you and share it.
LH: Neither could I.