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RE: Word from Iraq


I agree with your assessment, Marge.  I lost a very close friend in Viet Nam
and I can tell you that it would have been a large and unexpected benefit to
have had shower facilities down the road.  The only treats they got were
sent from family and benevolent organizations, including coffee.  I was
always sending him something plus some sort of food treat--cookies, cake,
etc.  I found out that even the popcorn (non-Styrofoam substitute for
peanuts) I packed the treats in to keep them from being crushed were also
considered as treats (and I'm sure they were plenty stale by the time they
arrived.  The same was true for my father and father-in-law.  

My father-in-law served in the Army, the Navy and the Air force before
retiring about 60 miles from Colorado Springs to be near a military
hospital.  It didn't do him much good either.  He was often referred off
base for treatment for himself and his wife.  The last several years, he
spent a good deal of time with Bill and me while he fought multiple myeloma
(sp?) and esophageal cancer.  If I had to take him for appointments, it was
an all day affair--literally.  Then if he needed medications (which he
always did,) it was another lengthy wait, sometimes meaning a return drive
to pick them up the next day if they hadn't been released in time for
dispensing.  One winter, he slipped on a curb at age 87 or so there in front
of the base hospital.  He went back inside to explain that he thought he may
have hurt himself and they told him they'd see him at his next appointment.
I'd have protested, but he was too afraid to do so.  He waited the month
till his next appointment to discover he indeed did have a fracture of his
pelvic.

Folks who think the government should run the medical community might want
to think again.  It hasn't changed much, Marge.

Blessings,
Bonnie 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Marge Talt
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 3:36 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Word from Iraq

Well, I think things must have changed a bit in the military since
WWII and my childhood as an army brat.

During WWII, field soldiers were lucky to get K-rations (pretty gross
stuff).  I think they might have had coffee sometimes, but no
guarantee and as far as toiletries in the field, showers or even beds
don't think they were offered to the front line who were lucky to get
a tent or a foxhole.

I spent my first 18+ years using military medical facilities. 
Thought they rather stank in spades.  You could sit in the waiting
room in high fever for hours, medical personnel were brusque and of
extremely varying quality; you had absolutely no options but took
what you were given or nothing at all.  Had my wisdom teeth out at
Fort Hood, TX as a young adult...not an experience I'd ever recommend
to anybody unless they like 6 hour sessions with only Novocain and
dental technicians who obviously were in learning mode.

My parents used the hospital at the post where they retired until it
was closed (the base) a few years ago but when they really needed
care, they went to the private sector.  My father is a retired
regular army Col., so rank didn't really do much for them.  Since the
base closed, all the retired personnel in the area (a great number)
are on their own.  Of course, one of the major reasons they all
retired there was because of having a base close by.  Tough beans as
far as the government is concerned.

I am sure that care varies with location, like anything else, and it
also varies with whether you're army, navy, air force or what.  We
always figured the navy went top cabin and the army on it's belly:-) 
Now, my personal contact with the military ended 40 years ago, so I
am sure things have changed - at least I sure hope so.  But, I
seriously doubt that they have managed to eliminate the tendency for
Catch 22 situations.

I also think that people either forget or don't realize that when you
sign on with the military you agree to do it their way, which is
quite different in very many respects from civilian life.  

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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----------
> From: Melody <mhobertm@excite.com>
> 
> One of our kids' teachers is there in Iraq as well... the last
letter he
> sent to all the kids/teachers at school indicated that living
conditions
> are not what the media makes them out to be, as well, Kitty. And to
> boot, no coffee that their families don't provide for them...seems
> George W. objects to paying the shipping charges on coffee ($1/lb.)
that
> it costs to ship it to our troops in the Gulf region, so they
either
> have to do without or get their own. I can't imagine waking up in
the
> hell of a war zone everyday without caffeine! Guess our country
isn't
> doing such a great job of providing the GI's with basic toiletries
like
> deodorant and stuff either...Mr. Scott (the teacher) inspired the
kids
> at school to start a collection of coffee and toiletries to ship
over
> there and they have so far done a wonderful job! Our church is
following
> suit by donating the proceeds from this month's soup supper to
buying
> such supplies and shipping them over, too.

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