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  • What Little We Know

    I was doing some research and uncovered this sent to me by one of our Brothers in a green LEO uniform... Germany, that is. It struck a nerve and I thought I would foward it on to you guys and see what you thought about his input and the generation coming behind us... older guys anyway.

    I have been out of the Forum for some time now and I hope to be back regularily in the near future. I miss the conversations thrown around amonst us...

    Subject: From a military doctor, what little we know...

    I am a doctor specializing in Emergency Medicine in the Emergency Departments of the only two military Level One-trauma centers. They are both in San Antonio, TX and they care for civilian emergencies as well as
    military personnel. San Antonio has the largest military retiree population in the world living here, because of the location of these two large military medical centers.

    As a military doctor in training for my specialty, I work long hours and the pay is less than glamorous. One tends to become jaded by the long hours, lack of sleep, food, family contact and the endless parade of human suffering passing before you. The arrival of another ambulance does not mean
    more pay, only more work. Most often, it is a victim from a motor vehicle crash. Often it is a person of dubious character who has been shot or stabbed. With our large military retiree population, it is often a nursing home patient. Even with my enlisted service and minimal combat experience in
    Panama, prior to medical school, I have caught myself groaning when the ambulance brought in yet another sick, elderly person from one of the local retirement centers that cater to military retirees.

    I had not stopped to think of what citizens of this age group represented. I saw "Saving Private Ryan." I was touched deeply. Not so much by the carnage in the first 30 minutes, but by the sacrifices of so many. I was touched most by the scene of the elderly survivor at the graveside, asking his wife
    if he'd been a good man. I realized that I had seen these same men and women coming through my Emergency Dept. and had not realized what magnificent sacrifices they had made. The things they did for me and every one else that has lived on this planet since the end of that conflict are priceless.

    Situation permitting, I now try to ask my patients about their experiences. They would never bring up the subject without the inquiry. I have been privileged to an amazing array of experiences, recounted in the brief minutes allowed in an Emergency Dept. encounter. These experiences have
    revealed the incredible individuals I have had the honor of serving in a medical capacity, many on their last admission to the hospital.

    There was a frail, elderly woman who reassured my young enlisted medic, trying to start an IV line in her arm. She remained calm and poised, despite her illness and the multiple needle-sticks into her fragile veins. She was what we call a "hard stick." As the medic made another attempt, I noticed
    a number tattooed across her forearm. I touched it with one finger and looked into her eyes. She simply said "Auschwitz." Many of later generations would have loudly and openly berated the young medic in his many attempts. How different was the response from this person who'd seen unspeakable
    suffering.

    Also, there was this long retired Colonel, who as a young officer had parachuted from his burning plane over a Pacific Island held by the Japanese. Now an octogenarian, his head cut in a fall at home where he lived
    alone. His CT scan and suturing had been delayed until after midnight by the usual parade of high priority ambulance patients. Still spry for his age, he asked to use the phone to call a taxi, to take him home, then he realized his ambulance had brought him without his wallet. He asked if he could use
    the phone to make a long distance call to his daughter who lived 7 miles away. With great pride we told him that he could not, as he'd done enough for his country and the least we could do was get him a taxi home, even if we had to pay for it ourselves. My only regret was that my shift wouldn't end for several hours, and I couldn't drive him myself.

    I was there the night MSgt Roy Benavidez came through the Emergency Dept. for the last time. He was very sick. I was not the doctor taking care of him, but I walked to his bedside and took his hand. I said nothing. He was so sick, he didn't know I was there. I'd read his Congressional Medal of Honor citation and wanted to shake his hand. He died a few days later.

    The gentleman who served with Merrill's Marauders, the survivor of the Baatan Death March, the survivor of Omaha Beach, the 101 year old World War I veteran, the former POW held in frozen North Korea, the former Special forces medic-now with non-operable liver cancer, the former Viet Nam Corps
    Commander. I remember these citizens. I may still groan when yet another ambulance comes in, but now I am much more aware of what an honor it is to serve these particular men and women. I am angered at the cut backs,
    implemented and proposed, that will continue to decay their meager retirement benefits.

    I see the President and Congress who would turn their back on these individuals, who've sacrificed so much to protect our liberty. I see later generations that seem to be totally engrossed in abusing these same
    liberties, won with such sacrifice. It has become my personal endeavor, to make the nurses and young enlisted medics aware of these amazing individuals when I encounter them in our Emergency Dept. Their response to these particular citizens has made me think that perhaps all is not lost in the
    next generation.

    My experiences have solidified my belief that we are losing an incredible generation, and this nation knows not what it is losing. Our uncaring government and ungrateful civilian populace should all take note. We
    should all remember that we must "Earn this."

    Written By, Captain Stephen R. Ellison, M. D., USA

    So many of you have been or will be called up to finish this conflict we are waging against these terrorists groups that I wanted to post this and let you know that in years to come I hope and pray that your children and grandchildren remember you as we should remember these.

    When peace returns, as it will when this is done, and then the short term memory will start eating away at the benifits given in a fit of patriotism. The actual help given will start declining... ever so slowly, I hope.

    The cost of Freedom is never cheap and the price of Peace will be expensive. But thanks to those of you who are taking up the Cause and accepting the flag from us who were there before you...

    [ 04-05-2002: Message edited by: David ]
    Take your hands off the trunk of the car and I'll make your Birth Certificate just another worthless document!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by David:

    I have been out of the Forum for some time now and I hope to be back regularily in the near future. I miss the conversations thrown around amonst us...
    Good to see you back David. I've been gone off and on for several months as well. Glad to be back in the swing of things here!
    6P1 (retired)

    Comment


    • #3
      David,

      You have hit on the one thing that is ****ing off a lot of veterans around this nation. They see the government cutting back on the services that were garanteed them when we all signed that piece of paper to go and defend the freedoms that all of us hold dear. The govenment-mainly congress- has turned its back on most of the service members who have paid a heavy price to keep America the land of the free. I know that the veteran groups across the nation are trying and pushing legislation to get our service men and women the care they soo richly deserve but we can not do it alone. It will take the help of the citizens to come with us and help us to get congress to stop spending sooo much and start to care for those who have paid soo much so that we all can remain free.

      Klar
      Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.

      Comment


      • #4
        I had to ask myself after reading this thread why we, as America, pay sports stars millions of dollars in contracts, yet allow those who really do something positive in life to go broken. Police, Military, Nurses, EMTs, Firefighters, teachers (to name just a few) are SO under paid and under appreciated. As a teenager (for another 2 weeks anyway), I would love to see these professions better supported. America... its time for change.

        Comment


        • #5
          As a 49 year old son of a 100% disabled WWII veteran, I thank you for posting this. Now if only the young uns growing up in today's world would take the time to read something like this, it might wake them up a little. Who knows?
          "Why is it that our children cannot read the Bible in school, yet they can in prison?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Police, Military, Nurses, EMTs, Firefighters, teachers (to name just a few) are SO under paid and under appreciated.
            Because sports stars etc. are paid by private industry which can afford those rates because people, for some reason, will buy dog **** if a Superbowl winning quarterback tells them to.

            That, and people bitch enough about taxes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CrazyinaJeep:


              Because sports stars etc. are paid by private industry which can afford those rates because people, for some reason, will buy dog **** if a Superbowl winning quarterback tells them to.

              That, and people bitch enough about taxes.
              Nike athletic shoes can afford it because there shoes sell for US$73 to $135 around the world are produced by 75,000 workers employed by independent contractors in low income countries. A substantial portion of these workers are in Indonesia--mostly women and girls housed in company barracks, paid as little as 15 cents an hour, and required to work mandatory overtime. Unions are forbidden and strikes are broken up by the military. In 1992, Michael Jordan reportedly received $20 million from the Nike corporation to promote the sale of its shoes, more than the total compensation paid to the Indonesian women who made them.


              Both side of Grandfathers where career military and both served in WWII. My Fathers Dad left after the second drove a bus for a short time, re-enlisted for Korea and died in 1971 while still in the service.

              The pension (death benifits) my Grandmother received (Nurse WWII) and her pension and the pension my Mothers Dad received where less than what people get on wellfare.

              I'm know lost for words, think I'll go out and earn some more...

              Billy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Godside:
                I had to ask myself after reading this thread why we, as America, pay sports stars millions of dollars in contracts, yet allow those who really do something positive in life to go broken. Police, Military, Nurses, EMTs, Firefighters, teachers (to name just a few) are SO under paid and under appreciated. As a teenager (for another 2 weeks anyway), I would love to see these professions better supported. America... its time for change.
                I got an answer for that one.. although I think most of us do.. i have never heard someone actually say it, so here it goes:

                #1 - Police/medics/military do not earn someone a profit. Therefore, no one is there to shell out some of that would-be profit.
                Sports Stars generate enough attention that the people that they endorse and play for have billions of dollars going through there hands. The American WIIFM mindset (What's In It For Me?) has generated this desire to keep the players happy by giving them tons of money...

                #2 these professions (Police/medics/military) generally get applicants, and therefor employees, who are a much more selfless and sacrificing type of person...Can you imagin Deon Sanders with a badge and a gun??? Or even driving an ambulance????

                I probably could write into more deeper detail on both subjects and could probably make my lone post as long as the "random thoughts" thread... but I will spare you all my ramblings. I think you can get the idea from this.

                [ 04-08-2002: Message edited by: Stone ]
                Education is nothing without experience to back it up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Let me throw in my two cents worth about the elderly. Whether they were in the military or not, officers generally dread going to prowler calls or assist calls because the old person will talk your leg off. Well, try listening for a change. There is a wealth of history & education in our elderly. Sometimes the tales they tell are mere ramblings but sometimes they are great stories. The Biography Channel says it best, "Every life has a story."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the post David it was one of the best I have ever read. Makes you proud of these men and women who gave there all to keep us free. Makes you Proud to be an American. God Bless them all and thanks for your fine work in there time of need and educating the nurses and medics that receieve them. How proud you make us to serve these vetrans with the respect they deserve. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
                    Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      SOme thing I have always said to those who value our freedom is to find a vet and thank them for the job that they have done to keep this great nation alive and free.

                      Klar
                      Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        **There is a wealth of history & education in our elderly. Sometimes the tales they tell are mere ramblings but sometimes they are great stories. The Biography Channel says it best, "Every life has a story." **

                        Pigskin,
                        This is something that I like to tell the 'rookies' that get assigned to me for street training, believe it or not...

                        The older generation has such a wealth of insite and street smarts if a 'newer human' being would just take the time to listen.

                        You will have ample opportunity, after you get back in your partol car, to filter the good stuff from the bulk information. It makes them feel like they are a human being and not just an occupant taking up space and wasting breathable air.

                        We all will be in that catagory sooner or later

                        Some of us... sooner than later

                        Our motto is something like 'Protect and Serve' or some variation there-of. That is a golden opportunity to do the Serve part of your job description... serve as a listener to someone who will probably never, ever, be a threat to you but will smile everytime they see or think about you and the few moments you took to 'make their day' and/or show a little respect and consideration by doing something we have been trained to do from the very begining... listen

                        What does it cost? A few minutes, that's all...

                        Unless it is a in-law...

                        But then, that's a different story... sigh
                        Take your hands off the trunk of the car and I'll make your Birth Certificate just another worthless document!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our motto is something like 'Protect and Serve' or some variation there-of. That is a golden opportunity to do the Serve part of your job description... serve as a listener to someone who will probably never, ever, be a threat to you but will smile everytime they see or think about you and the few moments you took to 'make their day' and/or show a little respect and consideration by doing something we have been trained to do from the very begining... listen
                          My son did his internship and residency at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio Texas and is now a Psychiatrist with the VA. He has a number of WWII patients, among them is the last, or one of the last, Tuskegee airmen. He has a bulletin board where he pins the pictures of the elderly vets when they were young servicemen, and has asked them to write their experiences for him. One elderly gentleman wrote 108 pages of history you'll never find in a book.

                          These men/women who served their country so valiantly are dwindling in number everyday; those who are still with us are truly this nations treasure. We must never forget to say "Thank you" when we have the privilege of meeting them.

                          [ 04-09-2002: Message edited by: Pnutt ]
                          Illegitimus non carborundus!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was always so embarassed that my Dad never graduated from high school...til I found out why. He dropped out, like so many, because he joined the army. He has only spoken of it one time. He told how his plane was shot down and crashed on the Japanese side of an Island in New Zealand. ALl survived but had one heck of a time getting to the American side. When they did, they were not welcomed. They were put in isolation until they could veryify who they were.
                            My Dad is now 81. He supported his family of wife and 3 children by cleaning boilers at a Veterans Hospital. I remember how many times he tried to pass his test to be a Master Plumber and failed. It was so hard on him.
                            Our veterans are never treasured like they should be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The other day I had to go look through some records at one of the Chancery Court Clerk's offices in our district.

                              While there, I was approached by an elderly gentleman who needed to talk to me... to show me how he had things figured out.

                              He had newspaper clippings and pictures he had cut out from religous texts.

                              He showed me a huge tree in the background of a picture of himself in the Army in Hawaii.

                              He showed me a picture of a painting of a huge tree in the background of an illustration of when God gave Abraham a ram so that he would not have to sacrifice his own son.

                              He showed me a picture of Jesus being crucified and there was a large tree in the background. (Jesus being the lamb sacrificed for our sins.)

                              He showed be a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Sheron sitting down to talk with Palestinian Leader Yassar Arafat. There was a large tree in the background.

                              What he was saying didn't make much sense. He kept pointing out what he made connections to, mainly trees, and it saying "See?" and "See? It's all right here."

                              He told me that he needed help in finding out how to talk to President Bush to let him know. He wanted very much for me to understand. And I did.

                              It was simple to me. He was trying to say that everything was connected. History is much larger than any of the petty things that happen. Even things such as war, or even world war, are nothing in the span of time, or in the eyes of God. He was not upset because he knew that there was a bigger plan and that it would all work out in the end.

                              From one of the ID's he showed me. I figured out that he was about 93 years old. He would have been in his 30's during WWII when one of the photos was taken.

                              I asked him about Hawaii and the war. We talked for about an hour. His mind was definately going, but he was able to communicate okay. I learned that his wife had died many years ago and he had no living relatives.

                              In the end. He told me that he was glad to see that a young man like myself also knew what was going on. I wished him luck on contacting President Bush and he went on his way.

                              One of the clerks apologized and asked me how I could talk to him for so long. She told me that he comes to the courthouse and "bothers people" like that on just about every Tuesday.

                              I explained to her what it was that he was trying to tell people in his own way. I told her that he was a veteran. That he had forgotten more of the world than I may ever learn. He was alone and it took very little for me to befriend him, and that I was actually glad to have met him. It was no bother at all.

                              This seemed to make her think about things a little differently.

                              I don't know why I felt the need to share that except as another example.
                              -Sparky

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