Soon to be gone

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Thorlifter, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    You know, I don't know if this is true or not.......but it should be.



    Written by a doctor, and very profound! This should be required reading in every school and college in our country. This Captain, an army doctor, deserves a medal himself for putting this email together. If you choose not to pass it on, fine, but I think you will want to, after you read it.

    Soon To Be Gone

    I am a doctor specializing in the Emergency Departments of the only two military Level One-Trauma Centers, 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. As a military doctor, 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, 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, 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 everyone 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, he had a minor cut on his head from a fall at his 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 Bataan 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 have seen a 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 CPT. Stephen R. Ellison, M.D. US Army!!
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Nice post!
     
  3. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I hate to be the one to admit it, but Capt. Ellison is very right. Soon they'll
    be gone... Each day I see the newspaper death notices for just the Tidewater area. That is multiplied by a 1,000 times each day.... a generation
    of incredible people.....

    Charles
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Outstanding!
     
  5. DOUGRD

    DOUGRD Member

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    It's a pretty sorry world we live in but this is a story that has played out time and time again throughout the ages. Young men and women answer their countrys call to bear arms and sacrifice life and limb to defeat a common enemy. They are applauded and praised and bemedaled for their service and devotion. But soon after the foe is defeated memories begin to fade and gratitude evaporates. It's been this way since before the Roman Legions. It's a sorry world we live in that keeps making the same error over and over again. It's up to people like those on this forum and others who study the past and recreate it and preserve it to keep their history alive so the sacrifices of past generations will never fade away.

    Thanks for posting that Thor, very poignant! I wish we could make it required reading for anyone joining the forum.
     
  6. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Top post!....Well, I salute them all :salute:
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think thats the first time I've cried staring at my PC. Jeez!

    :salute:
     
  8. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Thats a great story, i will remember that for ever
     
  9. Screaming Eagle

    Screaming Eagle Active Member

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  10. joy17782

    joy17782 Member

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    one hellva read thor, nothing more too say on the subject , but they need too read this on the news, maybe it will make people think
     
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