My Uncle Mike shared a rare tale from his time in the U.S.Navy as an Orthopedic Radiologist during the Vietnam war.
"This is a story never told - perhaps it never should be but I felt the need.
I received an e- mail the other day with some clips of Bob Hopes Christmas shows down through the years. I do not remember if it was 1967 or 1968 when the show stopped at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Guam M.I.. Patients were usually at this facility for less than a week, for further surgery and to stabilize, prior to being air evacuated on to a hospital in the "Old Country".
One had been there for clos...e to 2 months by the time Christmas rolled around. He had many injuries but the problem was a femoral artery graft that kept blowing out. He was in a full hip spica making wound care a challenge.
I had the duty one night and because his ward was right behind the orthopedic clinic we would all check on him nightly. He said "Doc I don't feel good" and I felt his toes which were ice cold - the graft had blown out and he was bleeding out. We got him to the OR and fixed up for the 4th graft - and final as there was no more options for grafting at that time. The orthopods wanted to amputate at the hip but he refused.
When it was announced Bob Hope was coming to town he told me he wanted to go but the CO of the hospital made the call ambulatory patients only. Long story short - Nick and I wheeled his bed across the parking lot and right into the front row.
If you listen to Mr Hopes monolog you will hear him welcoming the brass, and the patients and staff and a couple of gutsy Navy medics. We did get in trouble but it was worth it to see the smile on Randy's face.
He was Med evacuted out on December 29th - we wrote a message on his new spika for the next hospital to let us know how he was. I got a letter from an Air Force flight nurse in February - Randy did not make it home." --Mike Murray, cowboy poet, horse rancher, and highly regarded uncle. Stolen from his face book post.