Army

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I have been in screaming and crying mode since this morning.  When I got started, I wanted to look up more info about veterans to help out my beloved veterans who have told me that they are having hard times getting enough benefits to survive.  I’m sure you read or have heard of by now about the story from the LA Times. Trying to figure out what happened is tough.  But it seems that about a decade ago, someone offered the California National Guard monetary rewards of ten thousand dollars and up for re-enlisting, which they took. I don’t think anyone can blame them for that. Read more on Can being a veteran (or soldier) get any worse?…

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I had my struggles with the military about weight requirements.  Many have.  I remember an especially clever nurse-officer who had given a lot more years of her existence to the Army than I had, and was both a cracker jack clinician and a cracker jack administrator, and left with a wimp because she was too heavy.

I also remember one whom I then considered a mediocre physician’s assistant who told me he got a commission as a warrant officer where the physical consisted mainly of measuring the circumference of both his neck and his waist. He did it by pumping up his muscles in his neck so that his neck was so damned fat that the rest of him seemed “proportional.”  Yes, this really worked.  Waist not — want not.

In case anybody is curious about my military commission physical, I had starved myself to some pretty small proportions.  The physician told me I was built like a fashion model, so as much as he would surely enjoy it, he was not going to insult me by giving me a physical. Read more on Plastic Surgery To Pass The Army Physical…

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We don’t learn from history.  America sounds like it is starving with several stories on food bank cuts that have just started.  A lot of people seem to skimp and save to be able to eat.  Some of my marijuana patients tell me it is the only medical care they can afford.  One asked me where the nearest food bank was, and if I knew any good ones.

Vintage Veterans PostMy Grandmother-Of-Blessed-Memory had a couple of raspberry bushes in the back yard, and some very aggressive strawberries that sent runners under the sidewalk to the garbage can, pushing up the already fragile cracked concrete. This infuriated my Mother-Of-Blessed-Memory who always had to do such repairs, as my father of blessed memory had “such delicate hands.” At least that is what his mother would lament as she stroked them.  He had an honored place in our household for being a composer and choir director and music teacher and supporting the lot of us. Read more on Is This How We Thank Our Veterans?…

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You probably know by now that I’m all about helping people relieve chronic pain and live longer and healthier lives.  Just the other day, a gentleman visited me at the clinic to request medical marijuana. He said his feet had rotated 180 degrees from normal when he was born.  He was literally born with his feet on backwards.

ancient tribe of people with backward feet and 8 toes each foot

A Back-Foot from the Nurenburg Chronicle, 1493. This ancient tribe of people with backward feet and 8 toes each foot.

He was a young black man who looked much younger than the 47 he told me was his age.  He said orthopedic surgeons had started working on him before he could remember.  He’d had a total of 34 operations, with the most recent at age 18.

To me, his gait looked amazingly normal. “I bet you want to see my feet,” he said as he ripped off his shoes and socks.  He had one eight inch well-heeled vertical scar on the posterior aspect of each of his very thin ankles, and a transverse scar of about the same length on the outside of each foot.  The left one was a bit more deformed than

Read more on The Man Who Was Born With His Feet On Backwards…

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The first thing you get when you “in-process” into the Army — at least the first thing I got — was dog tags.  I had to decide if I wanted my religion on my dog tags, and tell the lady at the typewriter what kind of funeral I wanted. For all my ups and downs, I decided I would die Jewish, and get a traditional funeral, and make the Army find a rabbi.  I could put that on them with no thought of guilt. I had the option of putting my faith on my dog tags.  I was warned, in the most dispassionate possible way, that some enemies of the United States of America would kill me if it said “Jewish.”  I chose a resolution some co-religionaries had chosen in World War II.  I chose “Hebrew,” feeling more in common with the ancient faith than with the heavily politicized modern tripartite (Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed) ways of filling congregations.

Then I got my “Geneva Convention” card — Lavender and black and white, it said in 22 languages, roughly the equivalent “Don’t kill me.  I’m a doctor.” 

Read more on Doctors In Danger — Real, Physical Danger…

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