His body was far from straight and actually resembled a question mark, but in his eyes and those around him, he was standing tall. He was shaking, struggling not to fall over, but he was at attention when our Colors passed. I can't remember ever seeing such determination and pride. I didn't have to look far to find a hero that night. He was sitting (and standing) just 2 arm lengths away.
Raymond Sturm, Special Agent
U.S. Secret Service
[Posted on MyFamily Sep 9, 2006]
I hope I do not aggravate too many of you Sailors and Marines, but I carried a lot of guilt for a lot of years because I was one of those poges in the rear, except for August and September 1967 when I was with the forward S1 at the Rockpile. I was there when India came out to the ambush.
I was in charge of clerks, supply folks, cooks and anybody else we could round up to take the positions of India between the road and the "175" batteries. When they came back they wanted to know what in the f--- we were doing. Like all you grunts, we were just following orders.
I played softball in a VA softball league in Minneapolis until I was about 50, so I know a lot of the VA folks. I thought all VA employees were the same. The VA and the VAMC folks are two different breeds of cat. I was referred to a VA counselor in 1997 because of a bad attitude, argumentive with females in authority, and a heavy drinking problem. The counselor asked if I had ever had any mental health issues which I had.
Long story cut short, I had an original C&P physical over two - three days at the completion of the physical I was interview by a doctor MD. When I moved back to Washington State, I wanted to transfer my records from Minnesota to Washington. The VA in Seattle scheduled me for a medical interview by the Portland, OR VA hospital. They then requested that I have a new C&P, hell, I did not care I was not going anywhere.
I have had both good and frustrating service from the VA hospital staffs in the midwest and west coast. However, if you do have problems, find a service rep through the VFW, American Legion, Purple Heart Society or other service organization. They carry the fight to the VA for you and should give the service you deserve.
We all gave something in Vietnam, some gave all. Maybe I will find enough courage to come to a reunion and not be embarassed because I was a MFITR.
Reply by: Doc Hoppy - Sep 9, 2006
[Marine]... no embarassment is in order! Many of us "multi-tasked" in Nam.
After 4 1/2 months in the bush, I knew I was a basket case. I requested to be pulled from my position and a fresh replacement sent out. It happened.
I went on to HQ 3rdMarDiv to the Division Surgeon's Office, becoming the Division Training Petty Officer... mostly title...LOL. However, my main duties were basically to insure