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Veteran's last words hold special meaning to family

Tom McDermott's family said goodbye to the 84-year-old who battled coronavirus in his final days, but it was his last words that left them all in awe.

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Tom McDermott was pretty amazing — he survived polio, nearly became a priest and even worked on nuclear submarines while he was in the military.

McDermott's family said goodbye to the 84-year-old who battled Alzheimer's and coronavirus in his final days, but it was his last words that left them all in awe.

"He was on comfort measures and there was no expectation he was communicating," said Vin McDermott, Tom's son.

Doctors said Tom McDermott's lungs were overwhelmed by the virus and he never spoke again. Instead, he sang.

While Tom McDermott's family was at mass, a call came from the hospital: his last words were a song: "God Bless America."

"I don't know where the memory to sing or the energy to sing came from," Vin McDermott said.

Tom McDermott's family says they're not sure why he picked that song, but it's fitting of his service in the U.S. Marines during the Korean War and his Catholic faith.

"When I think about his service and why that song, I don't know. If there was anybody ready and at peace, it was him," Vin McDermott said.

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