By Capt. Steven Ellison, MD

This should be required reading in every school and college in our
country. This Captain, an Army doctor, deserves a medal himself for
putting this together. If you choose not to pass it on, fine, but I
think you will want to, after you read it.

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I am a doctor specializing in the Emergency Departments of the only two
military Level One-Trauma Centers, both in San Antonio , TX and
they care for civilian Emergencies as well as military personnel.
San Antonio has the largest military retiree population in the world
living here. As a military doctor, I work long hours and the pay is
less than glamorous. One tends to become jaded by the long hours, lack
of sleep, food, family contact and the endless parade of human suffering
passing before you. The arrival of another ambulance does not mean more
pay, only more work. Most often, it is a victim from a motor vehicle

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Often it is a person of dubious character who has been shot or stabbed. With
our large military retiree population, it is often a nursing home
patient. Even with my enlisted service and minimal combat experience in
Panama , I have caught myself groaning when the ambulance brought in
yet another sick, elderly person from one of the local retirement
centers that cater to military retirees. I had not stopped to think of
what citizens of this age group represented.

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I saw 'Saving Private Ryan.' I was touched deeply. Not so much by the carnage, but by the sacrifices of so many. I was touched most by
the scene of the elderly survivor at the graveside, asking his wife if
he'd been a good man. I realized that I had seen these same men and
women coming through my Emergency Dept.. and had not realized what
magnificent sacrifices they had made. The things they did for me and
everyone else that has lived on this planet since the end of that
conflict are priceless.

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Situation permitting, I now try to ask my patients about their experiences. They
would never bring up the subject without the inquiry. I have been
privileged to an amazing array of experiences, recounted in the brief
minutes allowed in an Emergency Dept. encounter. These experiences have
revealed the incredible individuals I have had the honor of serving in a
medical capacity, many on their last admission to the hospital.

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There was a frail, elderly woman who reassured my young enlisted medic, trying to start an IV line in her arm. She remained calm and
poised, despite her illness and the multiple needle-sticks into her
fragile veins. She was what we call a 'hard stick.' As the medic made
another attempt, I noticed a number tattooed across her forearm. I
touched it with one finger and looked into her eyes. She simply said, '
Auschwitz .' Many of later generations would have loudly and openly
berated the young medic in his many attempts. How different was the
response from this person who'd seen unspeakable suffering.

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Also, there was this long retired Colonel, who as a young officer had
parachuted from his burning plane over a Pacific Island held by
the Japanese. Now an octogenarian, he had a minor cut on his head from a
fall at his home where he lived alone. His CT scan and suturing had
been delayed until after midnight by the usual parade of high priority
ambulance patients.. Still spry for his age, he asked to use the phone
to call a taxi, to take him home, then he realized his ambulance had
brought him without his wallet. He asked if he could use the phone to
make a long distance call to his daughter who lived 7 miles away. With
great pride we told him that he could not, as he'd done enough for his
country and the least we could do was get him a taxi home, even if we
had to pay for it ourselves. My only regret was that my shift wouldn't
end for several hours, and I couldn't drive him myself.

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I was there the night M/Sgt Roy Benavidez came through the Emergency Dept.
for the last time. He was very sick. I was not the doctor taking care
of him, but I walked to his bedside and took his hand. I said nothing.
He was so sick, he didn't know I was there. I'd read his Congressional
Medal of Honor citation and wanted to shake his hand. He died a few
days later.

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The gentleman who served with Merrill's Marauders,

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the survivor of the Bataan Death March,

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the survivor of Omaha Beach ,

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the 101 year old World War I veteran.

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The former POW held in frozen North Korea

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The former Special Forces medic - now with non-operable liver cancer

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the former Viet Nam Corps Commander.

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I may still groan when yet another ambulance comes in, but now I am much
more aware of what an honor it is to serve these particular men and

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I have seen a Congress who would turn their back on these individuals
who've sacrificed so much to protect our liberty. I see later
generations that seem to be totally engrossed in abusing these same
liberties, won with such sacrifice.

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It has become my personal endeavor to make the nurses and young enlisted
medics aware of these amazing individuals when I encounter them in our
Emergency Dept. Their response to these particular citizens has made me
think that perhaps all is not lost in the next generation.

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My experiences have solidified my belief that we are losing an
incredible generation, and this nation knows not what it is losing. Our
uncaring government and ungrateful civilian populace should all take
note. We should all remember that we must 'Earn this.'

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Written By CAPT. Stephen R. Ellison, M.D. US Army

If it weren't for the United States Military,
there'd be NO United States of America !

In spite of everything these many brave souls did to defend the U.S. and many
other Countries, we have a President who runs around apologizing for the
U.S. actions.

Stephen Ellison , MD

This should be required reading in every school and college in our country.
This Captain, an Army doctor, deserves a medal himself for putting this
together. If you choose not to pass it on, fine, but I think you will
want to, after you read it.

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Comment by deZengo on October 27, 2010 at 12:25pm
I think what scares me the most is that we are not even "privy" to really what history was /is because it is written based upon the "WINNERS" perspective. Those in control of the media - control the "sheeples / cattle" as they so affectionately refer to us as.
Comment by RaK on October 27, 2010 at 12:08pm
This is something else... it really touches my heart, The pain is unbearable.
Comment by deZengo on October 27, 2010 at 11:39am
With the historian it is an article of faith that knowledge of the past is a key to understanding the present. ~Kenneth Stampp
Comment by deZengo on October 27, 2010 at 11:38am
If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development. ~Aristotle
Comment by deZengo on October 27, 2010 at 11:37am
History consists of a series of accumulated imaginative inventions. ~Voltaire
Comment by deZengo on October 27, 2010 at 11:34am

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