Back in 2003 I tore 3 ligaments and jacked up my meniscus on a jump at Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA. Eventually I was medically discharged from the Army for the instability in my knee months after surgery and rehab. Needles to say I was crushed physically, mentally and emotionally. Since then I have been careful with my knee not to re-injur it, but that plan all went to hell about 3 weeks ago.
I ended up tearing all my ligaments in my knee once again (confirmed via an MRI). Talk about re-living old feelings. Good thing this time around I have a very sportive and loving wife to help me along the way, rather than being mostly alone like before. But me re-injuring my messed up knee is not the point of this post, let me explain…
While at my local VA to meet up with a doc about my knee situation, I was in a waiting room and there were a couple of old dudes sitting by me. They looked just about WWII age, 70+ or so. So I decided to chat up these old Veterans.
The first guy I talked to was a grunt in WWII who served in Germany during the shit storm that was Europe from 1939 to 1945. He was later discharged then re-enlisted in the Navy and was in the operational area during the Korean War as well. Talk about a cool dude. He was happy to talk to me, asked me my story too.
The second guy I talked to was in a wheelchair and also served in Europe during WWII as well, another cool dude. But what blew me away is that this generation of men is passing away, and these are the men that gave Europe and America the freedom we have today. Sure there is the odd WWII documentary on the History Chanel from time to time. But these great men are sitting around in VA hospitals all across the States every day of the week, waiting for the care they deserve.
And deserve it they do. I’m going to personally make an effort to chat up these old veterans every chance I get, many of them don’t have much time left to tell their stories or know they’re appreciated for what they did not that long ago.
But all in all it was just another day and just another trip to my local VA.