traumatic brain injury
I am a veteran.
Military. American. U.S. Army. Medical Corps.
This is truth.
Along with being a fairly knowledgeable physician with over 30 years experience, it still seems incredible and unbelievable to at least some of my patients. It is not in their experience to know women who appear on the surface to be feminine and attractive who have been in the military. Admittedly, these things were never brought up until I lost a massive amount of weight (half my body weight) but there they are.
Every time I get a chance, I thank a veteran with a handshake for defending – in these very words — “this great nation.” This seems to be a custom that has crested, for I have not met anyone else who does this lately.
Even though I tell people I am a veteran, too, almost nobody thanks me back.
I was commissioned a captain in the United States Army in a northern Midwest city. The physician who examined me before I took the oath was senior and experienced and as avuncular as they come.
He said the most interesting people (and far and away the smartest) he got to meet in his life were commissioned women. The one he had seen before me was a woman who had been a professional musician, a clarinetist I think, and was going straight to Wahington, D.C. to play in a dance band at the White House. He told me about women rocket scientists and others. Me, I figured I was only a doctor, a half-trained neurosurgeon. As a generalist he felt somehow he needed to show me enough respect. He really didn’t want to do a physical, so he did a cursory and discrete one, and I asked him about being a civilian physician attached to the military. In particular, I asked him about neurological and psychiatric screening. Although he told me he knew how to do a pretty detailed neurological examination, he said he never had to do one. Anyone with that kind of illness would, he thought, be likely to be screened out long before. After all, these were generally healthy young men. Basically, the most important part of the examination was checking them for hernias. Read more on Military Mental Health — A Contradiction?…