"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, January 17, 2014

Again and Again

Dustoff Helicopter

by Jim Van Doren

I have this recurring nightmare:

Even though we were scheduled to be "2nd Up", we've flown into the same hot LZ again and again today, under fire, to rescue the wounded - a dozen at a time.  On our 5th mission this day, 11 Nov 65, I recognize the soldier I'm loading.  God, no!  It's the medic who's been bringing me his wounded - again and again - all throughout the battle.

[Infantry soldiers are trained to seek out whatever cover or concealment they can find, but when the ground medic hears, "Doc, I'm hit!", he will rush toward the enemy guns to rescue his wounded buddy.  Under fire!  Without hesitation!  Again and again!]

We've loaded everyone we can cram onto the Huey and lift off; now I can triage my patients.  God, no!  The medic's gut-shot, and I can't save him!  I have other wounded aboard I can try to keep alive until we get them to the field hospital; maybe the Chaplain can help those I can't.

Then I wake up again, in a hot sweat again, and apologize again to my wife for kicking her out of bed with my thrashing - again.  My war is long over, we remember, and I go back to sleep.

But it's not over.  Now I'm being deployed overseas, again.  I've lost more buddies than I've saved, so I've stopped counting.  I don't know if I can keep any of them alive anymore; I know I can't keep them from being wounded, and that drives a cold stake through my heart.  But I have to go - again and again - because they will need me - again and again.  God, no!

Then I wake up again, but this time I don't go back to bed.  After half a pot of coffee I realize the second nightmare is not mine - It's that of the medics I may never know, who have been deployed - again and again!

But I DO know them, and their buddies - and so do you. God, no!

Jim Van Doren
Dustoff Medic
Vietnam, 65-66

"I was born in Ohio, but grew up in Vietnam."

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Do You Know Who I Am?"

Sir Scott's Oasis Steakhouse

First of all, this is a true story.  It was contributed by Thomas Chase.  (Thank you, Tom!)

The radio station America FM was doing one of its 'Is Anyone Listening?' bits one morning.  The first question was: 

"Have you ever had a celebrity come up with the 'Do you know who I am?' routine?"

A woman immediately called in.  She said a few years ago, while visiting her cattle rancher uncle in Billings, MT, she had occasion to go to dinner at a restaurant that does not take reservations.  

She was told the wait would be about 45 minutes.  Many local ranchers and their wives were there and waiting.

Ted Turner and his ex-wife, Jane Fonda, came in the restaurant and requested a table.  The hostess informed them that there would be a 45 minute wait.

Jane Fonda asked the hostess, "Do you know who I am?"

The hostess answered, "Yes, but you'll have to wait 45 minutes."

Then Jane asked if the manager was in. When the manager came out, he asked, "May I help you?"

"Do you know who we are?" both Ted and Jane asked.

"Yes, but these folks have been waiting for their turn to be seated, and I can't put you ahead of them."

Then Ted asked to speak to the owner.  The owner came out, and Jane again asked, "Do you know who I am?"

The owner answered, "Yes, I do.  Do you know who I am?  I am the owner of this restaurant and I am a Vietnam Veteran.  Not only will you not get a table ahead of my friends and neighbors who have been waiting here, but you also will not be eating in my restaurant -- tonight, or any other night. Goodbye."

(Only in America ... is this a great country or what?)

Sir Scott's Oasis Steakhouse
204 W. Main,
Manhattan, MT 59741
Phone: (406) 284-6929

** If you ever get there, give this fellow a sharp salute, buy a steak, and tip the waitress. They have ten steaks on their simple menu from 12 oz. to 32 oz. and there are toothpicks on every table!

Thomas Chase
Business Support Analyst
Lorain Tool Enterprises, Inc.
1676 East 28th Street
Lorain, Ohio 44055
Phone:  440-277-6255
Fax:  440-277-1444

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale