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Thread: VA Hospital Adventures

  1. #1
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    VA Hospital Adventures

    Part 1 The Shuttle. And Army Heaven

    So from the clinic closest to where I live there is a shuttle to the Ft. Miley Medical facility that runs three times a day. And on this particular day there were equal numbers of both former sailors and soldiers on the shuttle. About ten each, including the driver. This was obvious because most vets will wear their service pride clothes when they go to the VA.

    In my case I had on my flat top sailor ball cap, (though I wish it said flightdeck sailor. Just due to the economies of scale even a Snipe (engineroom denizen) can brag about being a carrier sailor.) A Navy sweat shirt and under my pants a set of Navy running shorts. (I was going to be dropping trou later that day.)

    Now I'm not quite sure what started it, I was talking to the driver, a former soldier and he mentioned my hat. And me being me I pretty much went on a monologe that had even a retired silver oakleaf cracking up. The Navy that's a full commander, not sure what the Army calls those. (He was a sailor.)

    Me: "Oh, I'm wearing all this because in case I die at the VA hospital, I don't want to accidently get sent to Army Heaven."

    Now this got some of the riders to look up from whatever was concerning them. And most everyone that I spotted as being former senior enlisted looked up and gave a "What's this? A ** artist?" grin. There is a universal cant among Navy ** artists that senior enlisted and experienced Naval Officers pick up right away. (Pre-schoolers are also hip to it.)

    I addressed the former Commander:

    "Do you know how you can tell you've been accidently sent to Army Heaven?"

    He gave me an honest shrug of not knowing.

    "Toilets. In Army Heaven they have toilets."

    Now several soldiers started giving me the hairy eyeball at this time. (I had been keeping half an eye on them so I could keep tabs on their level of simmer.)

    When both the driver and the Commander gave me the "go on" look I explained:

    "I don't know about you guys, but not once did the Navy ever make me have to poop in the bushes. Anybody else?"

    and I raised my hand.

    ever other sailor raised their hands as well.

    "How about you Army guys?"

    And even they were starting to smile now.

    "Ah! So ever single one of you guys has made like a cat in a litterbox at least once?"

    Or more was the general reply.

    And there you go. While sailors transend the need for toilets, soldiers are happy just to have them around.

    You know, that could be a powerful recruiting slogan.

    "The Navy. We bring our plumbing with us!"

    Of course when we were feeling particularly disgruntled we'ed modify the existing slogan of the time to:

    "The Navy! It's not just a job, it's an indenture!" (Good thing JO's aren't noted for their vocabulary.)
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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    Now I'm not quite sure what started it, I was talking to the driver, a former soldier and he mentioned my hat. And me being me I pretty much went on a monologe that had even a retired silver oakleaf cracking up. The Navy that's a full commander, not sure what the Army calls those. (He was a sailor.)
    That would be a Lieutenant Colonel. Just like in the Marines.

    Presumably there are no toilets in Navy Heaven, just heads.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    All I know is that while my 'sanitary facilities' may have looked like a hole in the ground once or twice, I never had to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

    Don, you really ought to have someone record your stories and publish them. Spread the mirth, so to speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Presumably there are no toilets in Navy Heaven, just heads.
    Big Don, you'd better go with a friend. You know what they say about two heads being better than one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by korjik View Post
    Don, you really ought to have someone record your stories and publish them. Spread the mirth, so to speak.
    It was mentioned in the flight deck story thread that there were people who think Don's stories might be seen as putting the navy in a bad light and asked politely to have them dialed back. I suspect that would be the response to thoughts of publishing as well. Though I'd love to see them published.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    It was mentioned in the flight deck story thread that there were people who think Don's stories might be seen as putting the navy in a bad light and asked politely to have them dialed back. I suspect that would be the response to thoughts of publishing as well. Though I'd love to see them published.
    I could respond to this in one of two ways. The nice way is to note that the navy is that Don's stories show the humanity of the people in the Navy. The other is to call the people who think Don's stories show the navy in a bad light crybabies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I could respond to this in one of two ways. The nice way is to note that the navy is that Don's stories show the humanity of the people in the Navy. The other is to call the people who think Don's stories show the navy in a bad light crybabies.
    I'm not in the habit of calling Admirals crybabies. (No kidding. )

    And Henrik is once again spot on. Too many people thought I was making fun of the Navy and was a malcontent. I thought I was merely cutting the boring crap out.

    And I've never said this before but somebody (who wore cologne) entered my apartment and after politely tossing my place* left a copy of my service record and my DD-214 on my diningroom table.

    Don't have to have Nereid's intellect to see the sign there.

    *I can tell a spider's gender at fifteen feet. Do you think I wouldn't notice *everything* in my apartment slightly out of place?
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    I'm not in the habit of calling Admirals crybabies. (No kidding. )

    And Henrik is once again spot on. Too many people thought I was making fun of the Navy and was a malcontent. I thought I was merely cutting the boring crap out.

    And I've never said this before but somebody (who wore cologne) entered my apartment and after politely tossing my place* left a copy of my service record and my DD-214 on my diningroom table.

    Don't have to have Nereid's intellect to see the sign there.

    *I can tell a spider's gender at fifteen feet. Do you think I wouldn't notice *everything* in my apartment slightly out of place?
    Now I wonder if there is just a different point of view between enlisted, officers and civilians. I never found any of your posts particularly bad for the Navy. I am making the assumption that the Navy runs similar to the Army, so that makes the worst criticisms as more the 'tall' of the tale than trying to make the Navy look bad. It isnt any worse than making fun of the DMV.

    Then again, I was MI, so I may have a bit of a skewed perspective. After the eleventy-billionth time I heard the oxymoron joke about MI, I started getting annoyed with all the people who told the joke without knowing how true it was.

    Then again, I think that an unvarnished (ok, maybe a little varnished) look at what it is like to be on a carrier would actually be a good thing for the Navy. No one thinks that any branch is super-happy-fun-time, so having some humorous criticism would not be a bad thing.

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    My feeling is that if there were no funny and vaguely deprecatory stories from veterans, the Republic is doomed.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    My feeling is that if there were no funny and vaguely deprecatory stories from veterans, the Republic is doomed.
    Cato, right?

    Mr. Korjik, I've never found MI funny in the least. Especially NI.

    and it's always the guy you know is going to be a fifty year old Beavis when he grows up who has to make a comment. Annoying Guy is like that. Can't say Military Intelligence, penal code or dictactor without getting some half*baked* sophomoric comment that would reflect poorly on an actual sophomore, much less a grown man.

    Lately I've been saying, "Dude! Who was the intended audience for that comment, yourself?"
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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    My father, two of his three brothers (my father: USN, PT boats, one of his brothers was a copilot with the Carpetbaggers, and the other was ground crew for the USAAF) and two of my mother's brothers served (one in Carson's Raiders, the other in the Merchant Marine). My father never told me anything but humorous stories until he was on his deathbed; neither of my mother's brothers ever talked about their service, nor did one of my father's brothers. The other only grumbled about being exposed to gas in training (he was originally in the chemical corps, and talked his way into aircraft ground crew. He later became active in Republican politics and union organizing -- yes, organizing, not busting).
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Now, before continueing with the story I want to say that Ft. Miley Veteran's Hospital is a nice clean professional hospital. And nobody get the idea in your heads that I hate MDs.

    I've met one, maybe two full buttloads of medical doctors in my day and I've only personally met two that I would quantify as genuine "Maj. Frank Burns" material.

    But this isn't about them yet.

    The Oddest Start To A Polite Conversation I Ever Had.

    And this includes partying in such nortorious dives as Jolo's on Magsaisai Blvd. (Wow, brain did a last minute save and I removed a quote from that era that would have made Henrik blush. )

    I get to the hospital and it's really busy that day. The lobby area was the fullest I'd ever seen it and I've been a regular since '83. And then I notice this one man who sort of parted the crowd like a wedge. He looked like a young Charlie Manson who somebody had just given a big dose of I.V. happy juice. Smiling and eyes wide.

    and of course he comes and stands next to me. Strange children and the mad seem to find me comforting somehow. I politely said:

    "You are aware that you've *pooped* your pants, right?"

    I was a bit stern as at first I took him for a bum.

    The man replied with such a cheery string of non-sequiters that I immediately felt none threatened. This guy was really gone.

    "Well, okay as long as your aware of it. Say, are you seeing anybody here"

    And he started to quite cheerily tell me of the fine service he was recieving here. Well, he was happy about something, that's for sure.

    Now Charlie and I have the floor to ourselves and I'm looking in the direction he came from and one of those doors that don't have handles on this side of the hallway opens and two truely huge men in white come out and immediately move in our direction. I'm 5'10" and looked one of these men in the sternum. The other was taller. Standing together in their white uniforms you could use their backs to show drive-in movies.

    Now I have to ask. Do hospitals actually contract out for huge male nurses to ride herd on the loonies? I thought that was mostly Warner Bros. cartoons and urban legend. I half expected to see a bald doctor wearing one of those shiney round things on his forehead following up behind. And they took him on back in. I guess while they were doing rock, paper, scissors as to which one had to clean him up he slipped away from them.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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    As an Air Force veteran, I am years beyond intraservice rivalries. I have a tremendous amount of respect for combat veterans, especially the wounded ones. It does not matter what uniform they wore....

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    I'm sure if there were more veterans of non-US armed forces on the forum, they would have stories remarkably similar to Don's. I think it's got nothing to do with respect or lack of respect. I've also met a few veterans and active service personnel I consider jerks. They're probably be the ones complaining about Don's stories.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



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    Judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his uniform

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoggerDan View Post
    Big Don, you'd better go with a friend. You know what they say about two heads being better than one...
    Mr. Dan, I've been to places in the world where that was considered good survival skills. Since I'm back from those places, there must be something to it.

    Korj, don't worry, you'ld most likely get eaten long before you made the two and a half mile trip to the bottom, unless of course, you're dragged down with the ship.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by korjik View Post
    Judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his uniform
    Unless of course it's a nicotine yellow set of dress whites...

    I've seen that one try to fly a couple of times.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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