A Military Physicians Thank You .....

Discussion in 'VMBB General Discussion' started by inplanotx, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 572
    (12/18/02 12:18:30 pm)
    Reply A Military Physicians Thank You .....
    Friend of mine from another board received this email and I thought I would pass it along here in case any of you may not have ever seen something like this ...

    From a Military Doctor

    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 in 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 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, 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 p riority 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.

    Six Out!

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 747
    (12/18/02 12:27:46 pm)

    Re: A Military Physicians Thank You .....
    Thanks Six! That's quite a fellow,that Doc.
    Got the waterworks going.

    Endeaver to Persevere

    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 1526
    (12/18/02 3:43:58 pm)
    Reply Re: A Military Physicians Thank You .....
    Hey Gunner---what's happening? I was talking about you a couple hours ago. This young reporter from the Arizona Republic come by to interview me on an article about John's Angels---her name was Sarah Anchors---I showed her your John's Angel that you had put onto the national ensign and posted it here on the website---she was very impressed---I told her about you being a former Marine--that we'd been in country at the same time---she was 24 years old---a college graduate and almost without any knowledge of that era in our history---damn shame they are allowed to forget---what is it said---"doomed to be repeated"? Wilborn

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 573
    (12/18/02 5:55:54 pm)
    Reply Re: A Military Physicians Thank You .....
    Simply been "super dooper" busy with keeping up with camo stock orders during this holiday Christmas rush .....


    Will surley be glad when this one over with ...

    Felt good to read your posts on John's Angels and hope that things are going well for you. Though I realize that you do not do it for any recognition of any kind I do however feel that you deserve to have your name up in lights as the memory of your son lives on in our Angels.

    Mine is viewable at all times for those that enter my home and I have had "numerous" inquiries by many a visitor ...

    May God bless and watch over you and your family always and forever Chief.

    Six Out!

    Posts: 2530
    (12/19/02 9:43:48 pm)

    Re: A Military Physicians Thank You .....
    Very moving post Six!

    Thanks, JD/Tac
    TFF VMBB Email Tac
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