Red White & Blue

Wishing you a beautiful Memorial Day weekend!

I’m linking up with Patti @Visible Monday and Jill@Monday Mingle.  Check out the fashionable ladies!

Skirt: BCBGMaxAzria   Sweater: Ralph Lauren   Shoes: Prada   Bag: Louis Vuitton

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In honor of our fallen heroes…

This article was actually a personal e-mail correspondence to a friend, Mr. Gene Tuttle, in April 2000 while Captain Ellison served in the U.S. Army under the administration of then President Clinton.

Soon To Be Gone 
by Capt. Steven Ellison, MD

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 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 remember these citizens.  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 Captain Steven R. Ellison, M.D. US Army 

Dr. Ellison currently resides in Central Texas with his wife and children. He resigned from the Army in 2004 but continues to see many military retirees and dependents in the Emergency Departments he now attends.

Be safe everyone!

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70 thoughts on “Red White & Blue

  1. i had such fun look through your blog 🙂
    you are amazing and i love your style very much! i would love to look like you when i’m 50!! thats going to be a dream come true :))
    thank you for letting me into your beautiful world,

    • I’m so glad you stopped by!
      Thank you for such sweet words. You are such a lovely girl, I’ll bet your mom’s very proud of you! You have a lovely family. I’m sure you’ll look fabulous when you’re 50!

  2. This is my parent’s generation. Although I fought long and hard with them growing up, I have to admire them and appreciate how far they came relative to their parents’ generation. I hope that my children are able to say the same.

  3. Love your outfit, I am coming over right now to borrow it okay? Drooling over the LV!!! Your bags are making me crazy! 🙂 Read my latest post to see what I mean!
    xo!

  4. I hope you enjoyed your long weekend! Lovely post and you look great. The maxi skirt is very nice on you…and I love the color combos.

  5. Hope you have a great memorial day. And that’s what I love about your blog – the fashion is fabulous, yes. But it’s so much more than fashion, you talk about issues close to people’s hearts. I am moved by this post.

  6. Thank you for sharing the moving photo-essay, it reminds us of the sacrifices made by many.

    You look gorgeous in your knit maxi skirt, one of my favorite looks this year! Your bag is perfection, as well, to complete the look.

  7. What a wonderful tribute to those that serve for our country. Thank you.

    Your outfit is perfect and very festive for the holiday.

    I am drooling over your bag and the skirt and sweater are gorgeous.. I may need to head over to the on line stores 🙂 I need another skirt for the summer.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    leslie

  8. Thanks for the opportunity to be grateful again for the Greatest Generation(s). I also want to add, you are such a beautiful woman inside and out.

  9. You look stunn8ing as always!!
    What a beautiful post!!! I live in Sharpsburg, MD–the site of the bloodiest day of battle (Antietam-Civil War) in US History, The first Memorial Day Parade in the US was held here in 1867 and it’s been held continuously ever since. It’s reminder that freedom isn’t free and we must honor those who have served our country.

  10. so touching, thought provoking article. my dear great aunt is retired military, living in san antonio. she’s 96. outfits just don’t seem important right now.

  11. The nautical look suits you well! As always, love that tiny splash of red at the waist! Thanks for sharing the story about the vets… something very near to my heart… Happy Memorial Day! Be safe!

  12. A deeply moving article my deepest respect for these people who had served your country faithfully. Your outfit is so appropriate for this occasion…classy, stylish and elegant and I like the nautical elements.

    Mongs
    mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

  13. Lovely writing, even for someone who does not live in USA. I can hardly talk about your outfit, as the article is very deep. But let it. I love it, as usual. I like long skirts and this seems very soft. The Jersei is wonderful and the bag also. A discreet outfit, very Jeannie style.

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it very much!

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