Erath County, Texas Archives

'Don't Grieve Too Much, Mother---'
Gallant Odessa Marine Returns to Native Soil

by Jane Pemberton, American Staff Writer

wadekorea.jpg (28882 bytes)
Arlis Wade Ramsay
Korea - Dec. 14, 1952

A Marine came home Wednesday to rest at last in the sandy West Texas earth of his childhood.  The flag he served in glory draped the grey steel box which brought him home in death.

His name was Wade Ramsay and he was 21-years old when he died on the battle-scarred ground of Korea, a country he probably never heard of before he went there to die.

Wade was a Marine and he died in the brave tradition of the fighting corps he loved so well.  A buddy, Al [...couldn't read name] of Wink [Texas], told of the last few minutes before Wade crossed into eternity.

The young Marine had been evacuating wounded when the shell hit him.  As he lay on the ground the medics rushed to his side to give assistance.  With his last breath, he gasped, "I'm dying.  Help somebody who needs it more."

In the early cool of Wednesday morning a group of six Marines met at the Odessa railroad station in company with men from the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.   They waited in comparative silence while around them milled a happy crowd of departing travelers and their families gather to wish them happy journeys.

Suddenly, the mournful sound of the whistle heralded the arrival of the train which brought Wade home.  The men walked in the baggage car and gently lifted out the heavy box, accompanied from California by Sgt. Taver in full Marine dress uniform.

Slowly, a deep silence spread through the happy crowd of travelers.  As the men formed an honor guard around the Army coffin, men lifted their hats from their heads, and suddenly sobs broke out from women in the crowd.

One woman who broke into tears turned to the person next to her and said, "I have two boys over there.  I can't stand this."
The silence grew more profound as the guard carried their dead buddy to the waiting hearse.

Somehow you expected to hear the roll of drums or the clap of thunder . . . more tremendous tribute to the warrior home from the wars.  Wade was a stranger to many of the people at the depot that morning . . . and yet, no hero is ever a stranger to the people he died for.

To the mother who has held her first born son, to the sweetheart who has kissed a lover goodbye and to the wife who has found comfort in a husband's arms, Wade could never be a stranger.

There to greet him was his brother, Jack, just 17, the age of Wade when he enlisted; there to meet him was Sgt. Art Taylor of the Marines, who helped him enlist . . . but his parents were not there.  They would meet him later at the funeral home.

Wade was born in Lamesa and his family moved to the Goldsmith area in 1946.  He went to Crockett Junior High and Odessa Senior High.  He was a member of the Boy Scouts.

He loved art and from his childhood could draw and carve.  Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Ramsay's home is still full of the many pictures and carvings he made.  Among them is a jolly Marine made from polished wood which he made while in California.

For his first love and his great love was the Marines.  He wished to make a career of the service and quit school to beg his mother to sign his entrance papers.

Maybe his last words will bring her some measure of comfort Friday when the last bugle blows Taps over the grave of her son.

He said before he left, "This is what I want.  I am proud to go, and if I die, don't grieve too much, Mother.  It's the way I would choose to go if I had to choose. . . ."
Taken from a newspaper article.
Submitted by: Andrea Ramsay
July 2, 2002

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