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On The Eleventh Hour, On The Eleventh Day,


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SOON TO BE GONE 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.

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 crash.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The gentleman who served with Merrill's Marauders,

the survivor of the Bataan Death March,

the survivor of Omaha Beach ,

the 101 year old World War I veteran.

The former POW held in frozen North Korea

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

the former Viet Nam Corps Commander..

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 women.

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.

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.

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.'

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.

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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Our current crop of American soldiers also have valor...courage and compassion...

here's a perfect example:

> This is little-known story from the Pentagon on 09/11/2001:


> During a visit with a fellow chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the

> Pentagon, I had a chance to hear a first-hand account of an incident that

> occurred right after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. The chaplain told me what

> happened at a daycare center near where the impact occurred. This daycare had

> many children - including infants, who were in heavy cribs. The daycare

> supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic

> over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as

> the infants, that would need to be taken out with the cribs.


> There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers.

> Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed.

> After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into

> the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, 'Well, here we are - on

> our own again.'


> About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in

> tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up

> toddlers. The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of

> the center and down toward the park, near the Potomac and the Pentagon. Once

> they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the

> park, and then did a fabulous thing - they formed a circle with the cribs, which

> were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West. Inside

> this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering

> off. Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the

> children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents

> could be notified and come get their children..


> The chaplain then said, "I don't think any of us saw nor heard of this

> on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men

> there. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines, what they

> had done, and how fast they reacted; but would we expect any less from them? It was one

> of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.


> Remember Ronald Reagan's great compliment: "Most of us wonder if our

> lives made any difference. Marines don't have that problem."


> God Bless the USA, our troops, and you.


> 2 Chronicles 7:14 says "if my people, who are called by my name, will

> humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,

> then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


> It's the Military, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.

> It's the Military, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.


> It's the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

> It's the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.


> If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the

> military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women, who have served and

> are currently serving our country, and pray for those who have given the ultimate

> sacrifice for freedom.

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