Monday, February 26, 2007

Korea Korea Korea

Garry, Liz's husband while in Alaska with local kids waiting to be sent out to sea in Korea, not sure of the year.

This is Liz with her baby waiting for Garry. Liz writes....
".... The year passed, and my little baby grew into a little girl, and I had grown up in many ways, too. When Garry’s ship returned I held our daughter’s tiny hand and together we walked the gangplank to welcome her daddy home. There was no race in heels to win this time just the sure new walk into the journey of our lives."

> The WAR is very hard on those left behind, as in KOREA KOREA KOREA page 84, it only touches the very top of being alone....My husband sent over 600 letters home and his job in the service was as a Radio Operator for the Commander of the Amphibious Ships in the Western Pacific, he was on about 35 ships during his two tours of duty.He was never assigned to a special ship, it was where the Commander went to hold an operation, like landing at Inchon, transferring prisoners, training the Army and Marines how to debark from a ship without drowning as they did in France on D Day, moving supplies and equipment. Hard to believe in 1951 the only communication was Morse cell phone, no computers, no telephones on ships just Morse Code and Light and Flag signals..

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hope Springs Eternal

This start is an old post, which I saved as a draft because I thought it was just too depressing.... but....

I'm really tired tonight. Doc and I have been doing so much. He has returned to physical therapy, he's really sore, and he has duty this weekend which he won't miss. As much as this seems to be formal whining, it's really about hope. At first I just hoped that he would get back and we would have a chance to see where our relationship would go. Then, after he got injured, I just hoped that he would be alright. I was emotionally prepared to do whatever I had to do to accomodate his needs, and thank God, it has never been that bad. I hoped that he would not have permanant damage and even though it has been a year and some months, we still don't know. The spine has mysteries, and a rough deployment can affect the mind.
I have hoped that he would just remember to call me when away, and although his memory was horrible this time last year, he hasn't accidently left me in any parking lots for a longtime. He is stronger, lighter, funnier, cuter and more peaceful. Although he isn't leaping tall buildings with a single bound....he's better and getting better every day.
He has such a great smile that at times, no matter how strung up I am, I have to laugh, relax and refocus. Hope is a power that heals, a power whose unseen force can lift us up. I hope the soldiers are safe tonight. J

It's been about a month since that post. Doc is working with a training unit for medics out in SLO. I drove down for the weekend and will post the pics as soon as I can. I'll add them here- Anyway, While in SLO I tried my best to get an oral history from my mom's neighbor Bob. Bob was involved in D-day, Normandy with the Timberwolfs...the 104th Infantry Division. He wasn't the first wave to hit the beach, but soon after. He told me many stories. One was of a medic. He said medics then didn't war helmets or guns. He was in a transport truck when the medic was saying how he could hardly wait until this was over in order to get home to his wife and his newborn daughter. As his sentence ended, shrapnel from an explosive lodged through his forehead. His last thought was of his family, but he never made it home.

Bob was born in 1924, a twin, his brother wasn't drafted. He trained for tanks (37 Battalion) but volunteered for infantry because he thougth he'd have a better chance of making it home. I wonder how many D-day era Timberwolfs are left? I can tell you that he did say that he blamed his only child's hearing loss and eventual deafness on himself. I think he meant due to his own health problems after war. He also showed me his feet. I always wondered why his wife was out line dancing at the senior center and he wasn't. He almost lost his feet because they froze and he's had a lifetime of problems with them. Apparently they saved the good boots for the POGs and the infantry had regular shoes with galoshes. They weren't snow proof, slush proof or freeze proof.

Doc showed me his feet too, early on in our relationship. I wonder if the foot of the infantry soldier is the real evidence of the man?
I'm going to sleep and look forward to Doc coming back soon. I think he comes back for a few days then goes back TDY until the middle of March. I am proud that he is training medics for combat, because he is one hellava qualified guy.

Today there was a lot of news about not having enough support for our troops healthcare, mental health care or beds in the hospitals. How is it the silent wars that come home are not more important to society? Why aren't the veterans more important in the news than Anna Nicole Smith's demise or Brittany's shaved head.... Who gives a darn about that. Some of those among us are battling for their lives...