It’s going to be a short scribble this week. First because the fluid situation in the Mid East and second because I am on my way to the VA Hospital up in Palo Alto, where they will be taking the film off my eyes due to cataracts on both eyes. We will be leaving early tomorrow and staying at the Defender’s Lodge. The Defender’s Lodge is a place for veterans to stay while they are having extended work done. It’s like a motel run by veterans. They want us up there tomorrow afternoon so the operation can be the first given for the day.
I have never had much of a problem with my eyes, although one of my Purple Hearts was because of a booby trap that rained fire down upon me and my radio operator. In addition to the dirt and explosion, I had shrapnel strike both eyes. You know you don’t feel pain in your eyes, but you are certainly aware that something is wrong.
I was offered a chance to go to the rear by the Battalion Commander, but there is always a little voice in your ears saying, “Don’t leave your men.” So, since one eye was not too bad, the medic covered the other eye with a huge patch and put some ointment on the other. It was difficult to see real clear, but the men always looked out for each other.
My radio operator was hurt pretty bad in both his legs and I had to give him a direct order to get on the med-e-vac helicopter and go to see a doctor. He didn’t come back, so I knew that he got to go home. I wasn’t particularly concerned. But like soldiers all over the world, we just keep on keeping on.
The medic said, “We just have to keep them clean and protected,” and since the doc said that there wasn’t any danger to stay in the field as long as I didn’t try to get into a firefight with Charley — that was a joke. Charley was a name, along with a bunch of names that do not need to be said here, that we called the enemy. I just decided to stay with my men. We were scheduled for rotation to the rear in a few days, so I didn’t suffer. Well, a little, but suffering is sometimes good for the soul.
The real doctor that I saw when we went to the rear said there was not much more that could be done and that the medic did a great job, also that I might feel it as I grew older. So I am older now and I do feel the effects of that day. Not just the injury to me, but my radio operator and the others that were hurt. Anyway, back to my operation.
The eyes don’t bother me except when I want to read in bed or sit in front of a computer to write. I find myself hitting the wrong keys more than I like. So since the doctor told me that I should have close to 20/20 vision after the operation. I’m looking forward to the end. I’ll be sure and keep notes because the folks in the ophthalmology clinic said there are lots of folks that are bothered by cataracts but just aren’t aware of what’s causing them.
I might have mentioned along time ago that the VA has the most caring doctors and staff I have ever seen. I was impressed from the first time I reported to the old facility out at Fort Ord. There are a lot of the veterans from Vietnam that have had a tough time getting their heads around the civilian crowd, and so these folks bend to give them a special place in their hearts.
I too suffered a little after I returned from the third year of that war. Thank goodness that for the abomination being carried out in Israel and the Gaza strip that our men and women haven’t been called yet. I say yet because I have no idea what the President saying we have Israel’s back actually means. Let’s pray that our planes and missiles can fulfill that promise. He has hinted that he might have to add our Flag to the mess. That’s when boots on the ground requires human soldiers to face the enemy.
Since he has crippled our economy and destroyed our fossil fuel economy, who knows. Perhaps he can be sent to China or India where the populations are not so particular about the coal plants, oil fields and targeted missiles. (You remember the “Weather” balloon that floated across the United States where all our “hidden” missiles are buried.) He was sure heads up about that little aggressive maneuver by the Chinese. Probably a little something to encourage us to forget all about the Covid gift that was brought to us from the laboratories in China.
As I write this, I am of mixed emotions. I think of all the brave men and women we have fighting for our country. Then I think about all those tunnels that have to be cleared if our side joins the fray. If Iran decides to help eliminate the Jews, I shutter to think.
You might remember when Obama was our Prez he wanted to placate Iran, and just as he was leaving office he carried pallets of money to a country that may prove to be an enemy before long. Before that little gift was given, Iran was a third world country. That money along with all the weapons and equipment we left in Afghanistan has made Iran a wealthy country, certainly a Mid East country that commands our attention.
If you read my column very often you can see I write about how the politicians are destroying our country from within. I can do that no more, which should please some of my readers. I can no longer write about war. Forgive me please, but it just brings up too many memories that I have been trying, along with the doctors from the Veterans Administration, to forget.
From now on, I will be writing about little children laughing, puppies that are about as cute as can be, flowers blooming and my family.