|I happened to discover this obituary notice on the
internet on October 26, 2003.
BROUGHTON, III, John Entered into eternal rest February 24, 2003, John
Brosius Broughton, III. Residence, Summerville, South Carolina. Relatives and
friends are invited to attend his graveside funeral service at Beaufort National
Cemetery, Thursday, February 27, 2003 at ten o clock. Arrangements by J. HENRY
STUHR, INC., NORTH AREA CHAPEL. Born October 10, 1948 in Charleston, SC, Mr.
Broughton was the son of John B. Broughton, Jr. and Hanson Dunbar Broughton. He
was a Respiratory Therapist at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and a member of
Charleston Seventh-day Adventist Church. Mr. Broughton was also a US Marine
veteran and served as a Hospital Corpsman in Vietnam. Surviving Mr. Broughton
are four sisters, Helen B. Suggs of Goose Creek, Claudia B. Laugherty of
Pacolet, SC, Cecilia B. Campbell of Asheville, NC and Janice Elaine Broughton of
Summerville. Several nieces and nephews also survive him. In lieu of flowers,
memorials may be made to the John Ancrum SPCA, 3861 Leeds Avenue, Charleston, SC
I first met John at a Respiratory Therapy seminar in Atlanta, GA in 1977.
This was the first time in my life that I had ever met an individual who was
actually on my mental wavelength. We soon discovered that we both would have the
same thought at the same time. During the meeting we entered into a 24 hour
poker session with some other therapists and sales people. They would drop $20
on the table to buy chips and when the money was lost they would be replaced by
some other person. The amount of money on the table continued to grow as each
individual would finally lose their stake and would be replaced by another.
Since John and I both had the same thoughts I would know when to raise his bet
and visa versa. After 24 hours John and I divided the table stakes between us as
we were the only ones left with chips in front of us. That poker game paid for
my entire seminar expense.
John and I became what I call
"pocket friends". We would sometimes go years without seeing each other but
would take up where we had left off on the previous meeting just as if there had
been no lapse in time. John was one of those people would could walk into a crowded
room and instantly know everyone in there. John never met a stranger and was
usually the center of attention where ever he went. And besides that John was
one of the most down-to-earth people that I have ever met.
I later introduced John to
one of my employees at the time and they later got married. Marriages go and
come but true friendships last forever.
In 1990 I got into my car and
drove 600 miles to spend a few days with John. We were sitting around talking
and somehow Vietnam came into the conversation for the very first time. We soon
learned that we had been in about the same location at about the same time. I
was an Army M.P. and guarded a section of the flight line at Nha Trang Airbase.
John was a Marine medic and had actually landed at Nha Trang on several
For years I had a tinkling of
a sensation that I had known John previously. But he was raised in South
Carolina and I was raised in Florida and our paths could not have crossed in
those times. I had just assumed that since we were such close "pocket friends"
that it seemed like I had known him before. But now I was hearing that we were
both in the same place at the same time. I looked at John but could not remember
seeing him in Vietnam.
During the conversation John
happened to mention that he was the youngest Marine medic in Vietnam because he
had lied about his age to get into the Marines early. John happened to mention
that he had a picture that had been taken by a combat photographer with him and
another medic who happened to be the oldest Marine medic in Vietnam. John went
off in search of the photograph and soon returned. I take one look at the
photograph and every hair on my body stood up. John looked different in the
photograph. I suddenly remember the conversation we had on the flight line in
1968. Furthermore he could remember some things that I had forgotten but which
came rushing back into my mind. How can one remember a casual conversation with a
stranger over 20 years previously? The youngest medic in Vietnam and the
"littlest" MP spent the rest of the night talking, laughing, smiling
and savoring every moment of a wonderful friendship.
I saw John only once after
that. In the summer of 1993 John and his dog Ace came to Georgia and spent a few
days with me. I always figured that the phone would ring one day and John would
be asking for directions to the house. I tried in vane since then to locate him
having called many wrong numbers and even sending letters to addresses that no
longer worked. My search ended tonight. I know where John is now. He is in a
place that is most wonderful and full of love.
In good times and in bad
times John and I were the best of friends. The world is a little emptier now.
My world will never be quite the same. My heart has another crack in it. I miss
my friend. I can still feel the loved that flowed from that man. God's world
has gained a most wonderful soul.
John, one day I will join
you, my friend, and we can take up where we left off the last time - laughing
and smiling and enjoying life. Our friendship was one of the best parts of my
life. Good-bye my friend. I'll miss you and I love you.
Update: February 24, 2005 -
Today is the second anniversary of John's passing. I took today off from work to
spend some time with my lost friend, maybe have a beer and a cigarette with him.
The world moves on but it is not the same world. I still miss my friend.
Update: February 24, 2010 - I took today off from work just as I have for
the past five years to remember my friend. Rest in peace John.