Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vietnam Story # 4 From The Husband Files...

Some days you just have to say NO....
Ken was in the Army (E-5) and served in Vietnam “66-67” He was infantry, the 2nd of the 18th.. The Big Red One.. He and his unit or group of 8 guys were in the jungle for weeks at a time. When they finally came in they would all run into town for recreation and a hot meal. Ken's CO. would warn them against eating anything in town. The same kinds of fertilizers are not used here if you get my drift...
Actually Ken's CO. was very adamant that the men not eat in town. There were many ways the enemy would try to kill the Americans. Unfortunately Like today the enemy could blend into the villages and towns very easily for example; Ken's group had a problem with a sniper every night for weeks. (I think I told you earlier that Ken was trained as an "anti-sniper sniper") well he finally got into a good position one night and shot the guy. To his utter shock and horror he realized the guy was the company's barber. He had held a straight razor against Ken's neck many times while shaving him. It was scary to think he could have slit his throat at any time.
After one long time out in the Jungle Ken had returned to the base and had decided to go into town to relax. He had also decided that he had seen plenty of good food that was cooked and surely any bacteria or germs would be killed in the cooking process. My Ken loves food and good home cooking.
Ken found a decent looking place and went in. He had traded earlier in the day for some Johnny walker Red. And figured if he drank enough it would kill any bad bacteria that was left over after cooking.. He saw a big bowl of stew/soup like stuff being served to another person. It looked and smelled wonderful. He ordered it. It was wonderful. It tasted so yummy. Nice and hot with veggies and meat.. wonderful flavorful meat. He ordered another bowl.
He finally asked the woman what kind of stew it was. She said something in Vietnamese, then she said “ you know, you know, Bow Wow”.
(big collective EWWWWWWW from all of us...)
Yep, it was dog. Poor Ken lost all his stew, his Johnny Walker Red, and just about everything else he had eaten that day. He never did eat in town again.
If you find yourself needing something funny to laugh at today. If you can't find anything that will give you a grin or make your belly shake. Think of a grown man, a warrior, lean and mean, puking his guts out in the middle of town, after eating a Very Special Dinner.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Knee-d You to Know Newsletter....

Hello again...
Just wanted you all to know that I'll be having my 3rd knee surgery tomorrow morning. I know crazy huh.. I have to be at the hospital by 7:30am so I'm guessing surgery will be about 9 ish.. please pray for the surgery and my recovery. I'm so ready to be done with knee problems.

The new twist to this is that It will be the other knee.. apparently the good knee got jealous about all the attention the bad knee was getting and threw a fit. It's in the lime light now. Guess it's another tear in the meniscus. they will know for sure once they get in there and scope it out.. get it.. scope.. arthroscopic surgery.. LOL I got a million of 'em..

The surgery is quick and I'll be home sometime in the afternoon.. the best thing about it is I know just what to expect.
the nurses all know me on a first name basis.
the anesthesia guys all say:
"oh it's you again." I remember you little miss "I have TMJ but won't take a spinal."

duh.. no I'm not getting a spinal.. you ever heard those horror stories.. I have.. no thanks.. I'll get my jaw back in place sooner or later.. sooner if you do your job right..

Husband Ken has taken to his position as head homemaker pretty well. He does hate laundry and cooking.. but is a real pro at dish washing, vacuuming, and toilet scrubbing.. I'm so glad.

my buddy Cindy,from Church, is coming up to keep Ken calm.. or try to.. I told her about his funny jokes.. the best one, always said very loudly..
" hey they don't have any playboy magazines in here, what kind of place is this"
She suggested she bring her "Big" Bible and read it out loud to him..
I say.. good luck with that.. :)
** update.. Cindy can't come.. oh no the Surgical waiting room may never be the same..

If any of you want to come and keep Ken quiet.. I mean keep him company.. please feel free to..
Pray.. that's the best thing you can do for me.
Ky. friends, I guess our trip down will have to wait for a bit. I'm hoping I'll be recovered and full of knee flexing power soon. hopefully later on this spring or early summer.. I miss you all..

Special Troops: I will still be writing you.. so don't think I'll be forgetting about you. The group will continue to pack those awesome boxes for you as always.. you won't miss out on a thing.. ( just the special little treats I send, but I have a stash and I'll see you get them later :) happy)

OK, that's it.. thanks for praying for me..
love you all, hugs,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vietnam Story #3 From The Husband Files.

This was Ken's Favorite Job for 3 days... (burning poo)
Before I start this story, let me tell you that Ken had given his medals, uniform, etc to his nephew when he returned home. When his daughter asked for them I was surprised to learn they were gone. (I'm the 2nd wife) I found out from the VFW that you could request your medals. After filling out the paperwork and waiting almost 2 yrs. They showed up one day in the mail. When Ken opened the box to look at them, he was surprised to find a Good Conduct Medal. He laughed and laughed. He then shared this story.
Ken had a New 90-day wonder (fresh our of officer school) officer in charge. (Ken lovingly referred to him as Wonderboy.) One afternoon he told Ken to take his men down a road and check it out. Well as you may know, you never go down the middle of a road. Ken told him "No sir, I'll take my men down either side, but I will not take them down the middle of that road."
Wonder boy asked if he was refusing a direct order. Ken said "I guess I am Sir; I will take my men down the sides but not down the middle." Well WonderBoy said "fine, I'll have you court marshaled when we get back to our base camp." They all went on and eventually did head back to base.
Ken was usually out for several weeks at a time. When he got back to base camp a jeep full of Mp's drove up and asked if he was Sgt. H. He said yes. They handcuffed him and took him to the jail tent.
He appeared before the whatever, was busted down to a PFC and sent back to his jail tent. He discovered a funny thing there, but that's another story and I'll tell you about it after this one. As part of his punishment Ken was put to work burning poo. He loved it. 3 hot meals a day, no one trying to kill you, a bed to sleep in, a real shower. It was grand. It was heaven. It sure beat what he called humping the boonies...
After about 3 days an MP came to the tent and asked if H. was there. Ken said Yes. The MP said "get your gear you are going back out with your unit." Ken told him NO; he liked it right where he was. LOL I don't blame him, I think I would have liked it too.
Three more MP's showed up along with his CO. Ken told them he could not join them since he had been busted down to a PFC and was considered an inexperienced soldier. He could not be put in a war zone. He was promoted right on the spot, and handcuffed inside the jeep. (Probably not a good thing)
After about 2 weeks he was an E-5 again. We both had a great laugh over his GOOD CONDUCT medal. Just so you know Ken was not a troublemaker. He put the lives of his men first, even if it cost him a court marshal.
The funny thing about the tent when Ken got there was there were no tent ropes. It was put up with chain. When he asked the guys where the ropes were. They shushed him, and pointed to a hole under the floor. All the tent rope was in a barrel hidden under the floor. Ken, trying not to laugh out loud, asked them why the rope was in the barrels. They told him it was rope from WWII. It was Hemp and they were smoking it.
He just shook his head and laughed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Soon To Be a New Knee

It has been a great couple of weeks. I may have told you that I hurt my "good knee" on Super bowl Sunday. I got some snacks and when I went to sit down. "OUCH".. BIG PAIN in my good knee. The one that had been inflamed and swollen and really sassy for a week or so.

I was not to excited; especially when I couldn't walk on it. I headed out the Dr. office on that Monday and they made an apt. with my Knee dude for the following Monday (yesterday)
Guess what???? I need to have Knee surgery.



This Friday I will have yet another knee surgery. I am really hoping that this fixes all my knee issues for a while. I think all the stress of 18 months of carrying the better part of my weight on my good (right) knee finally caught up with me. It just couldn't handle it anymore. That and one of my Physical Therapists from last summer told me I don't walk correctly because my knees are not formed correctly. My weight is all carried on the inside of the knee joint instead of in the middle.

I chose the photo above because in about 12 weeks I'd like to look like her. Knees bending, flexing and doing all types of Knee stuff.. whooo hooo.. LOL

I really would like to look like her for real. LOL.. maybe if I diet, which I must.
Not sure I'll ever be stick thin, but would like to be able to keep my real knees working a bit longer before I have to get the fake ones.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vietnam Story #2 From The Husband Files...

Any Veteran of Korea will quickly recognize these cans. Yummy C-Rations.
The ones Ken ate were packaged in 1948...

The C-Rations consisted of old food eaten cold. Ken said they would use C4 explosive to heat them up. (If you ignited the C4 it would burn and not explode)
A few other things he mentioned: His favorites were the beans and wieners,
Chicken and noodles, and fruit cocktail.
He craved fruit and was always thrilled to find the ones that had fruit in them.
They also came with a small package (4) of cigarettes and sometimes a little package of toilet paper. His least favorite was the Beef and Potatoes. He said it had a really thick coat of yellow fat on top of it, and even with heating it just tasted old and nasty. Ken also mentioned that the C4 came from Claymores he broke apart so all his guys could heat their meals.
Now on to the story...

The Special Meal...
After setting a record for the longest time a unit had been in the field (126 days) the Top Dogs thought that the guys deserved a treat. The unit had also found one of the largest ammo caches so they really deserved a big treat. The news came down that they were to get a hot meal trucked in for them to enjoy.
The guys were all beside themselves. Those C-rations from the 40's and 50’s were not the most desirable. Ken imagined steaming hot turkey, Roast Beef, or Baked ham. Hot gravy and mashed potatoes, bread, and dare he think it, pie and maybe even some glasses of Ice cold milk.
The time came and they all stood in line about to die from the sheer anticipation of the perfect dinner. Ken could barely stand it. All he could think about was his mama's homemade rolls dripping in butter; and her cornbread dressing. He had been day dreaming about mounds of mashed potatoes and rivers of Hot Brown gravy. He could eat a mountain of that dressing and those mashed potatoes and rolls right now.
Finally it was time to get in line. But wait, where was the smell of turkey, Beef, or ham wafting on the air, hmm maybe the jungle stink had clogged his nose up... The guys in front of him were all whooping and hollering so it was better then he thought. By this time he was drooling.
Finally It was his turn. HEY WAIT A MINUTE... that's not turkey, Beef or ham... it was LOBSTER.
Now yes, most of the guys were ecstatic... NOT my Ken. He hates lobster. He gave his tray to a buddy, went to his pack and got out some good old C-rations and dreamed of mama's cornbread, a big pan of Baked Ham, mounds of mashed potatoes and rivers of gravy. Ice cold glasses of Milk and platters full of mama’s apple pie.
** a side note. Ken dreamed of milk. Good cold milk. When he finally got on board the plane in Vietnam heading for the states the bottles of beer and liquor flowed. When the stewardess asked Ken what he would like to drink he told her Milk. He drank glass after glass of it.

We Interupt This Blog for a Ha Ha Moment...

Before I tell you the next Story from the Husband Files, I'd like to tell you about a funny thing that happened to me.

As a member of a troop support group I help with some of the fund raising activities. We set up at car shows, farmers markets, special events like the traveling wall, tractor shows, craft shows etc. We accept donations for a few things like t-shirts, leather items, water, smoothies, baked goods, etc. We even pack boxes at some events. We give out info about our group. All the money we raise at these events go to pay our shipping costs.

One weekend a couple of years ago we were asked to set up our booth during the GM 100th anniversary. We set up at the Flint Cultural Center with all the Buick’s.
(Buick was celebrating 105 yrs.) There were Buick’s from 1908 on till the present on display. I was amazed. There were a couple of hundred Cars all on display. Many I had never seen or heard of before. I saw some of the coolest stuff. I took time to go out take pictures and look at some of the most beautiful cars I've ever seen.. people came from all over the world to the event. It was huge. I walked everywhere in sandals and looked at everything.

I went home with some bug bites.. nothing unusual for Michigan. The bites got itchy and swollen and weepy. hmmm. I'm allergic to sand fleas, I guessed that was it, Sand Fleas. Another day or two passed and I was scratching my legs and feet off . I decided it was NOT sand fleas.

Finally I had hubby get me some benedryl, and went to the doctor. LOL I have given my last measure of flesh for our troops.. LOL I had poison ivy. oh my goodness. It was horrible. I lived on steroids and Benedryl for days. I spent hours dipping myself in calamine lotion. I was red, blotchy and really itchy. LOL so know that there are a few of us who take supporting our troops really seriously..

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vietnam Story #1 From The Files Of The Husband.

I just love this picture. My husband. He's just so handsome, of course I don't think I've ever seen anyone who looked ugly in any Military uniform. They all look pretty snazzy.

As many of you know I belong to a Troop support group here. I help pack boxes for deployed Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago Ken and I were talking about those boxes, and some of the funny stories he had from his time in the Military. I thought it would be fun to share some of those stories with the young Soldiers, Marines, and Sailors I write to. I had Hubby tell them to me and tried to get them down in story form. I thought I would share a few here.

My main reason for sharing them is that I'm at a loss right now what to write about. My good knee has gone out on me and I can't stand the thoughts of what may lie ahead. I really need a good laugh and these stories are funny.

Ken was a proud member of the 1st. Infantry division, the 2nd of the 18th. Also known as the Big Red One. He was an anti-sniper sniper. He also packed around a M-79 grenade launcher when needed. Most of his tour he used an M-14 and M-16. He pretty much did what no one else wanted to do. He was even a tunnel rat on occasion. His 6' + frame was often a tight squeeze. He had an 8 man squad under his direction. Their job as best as I can describe it was to spend days in the jungle tracking enemy movement.

You may wonder why I would even consider sending "war stories" to a bunch of deployed Troops; some out in the hot zones with bullets whizzing around their heads. They certainly don't need to be reminded about how hard, or un-nerving, or terrifying war can be. I agree with you there. They need to know that even when things are collapsing around them, when the world as they have always known it is gone, when there is nothing good, or decent about the day. They can laugh. They can think of a silly story an old Vet told them and laugh till their bellies ache. Maybe that laugh will ease the stress and the tension of the day. Maybe it will be the thing that the mind sits first in the memory so that when the memories years from now are recalled, they will not be so hard, or painful. Maybe they will remember that if an old Vet can find something to laugh at in Vietnam they can find something to laugh at too.

This is one of my favorite stories, I usually share it first.

This is a great story Ken had from his time in Vietnam. I was able to meet “Click” aka Dennis (Ken's machine gunner) at our home along with one of his sergeants . It was a day of stories and sharing of a bond that those who were not there can never truly understand. Their friendship was born of blood and valor. They were truly brothers.
It was 1966 and Ken and his 8 men were in the jungle looking for the enemy. I guess they spent all their time looking for them and reported movements and all that other Army type stuff. They had set up camp for the night.. They set up a perimeter, with wire, and claymores and went about getting dinner. Yummy C-rations from the Korean war.. The first set of 3 Soldiers were sent out to walk around and patrol.
It was dark and the jungle with its usual smells and sounds was settling in for the night. The guys weren't gone very long when 3 guys came walking up the path.. Dennis went out to see what the problem was. The 3 had only left a few minutes earlier.
He walked up behind the three and put his arms around their shoulders saying “ Hey what ya guys doing back here so soon? You just left.” Well it was NOT the 3 soldiers, it was 3 Vietcong.
Dennis, who had left his gun back inside the wire, screamed and ran.. The 3 Vietcong screamed and Ran.. Dennis ran back to get his machine gun.. The Vietcong had their rifles.. They were so scared they just ran away screaming.. Not a shot was fired.. No one saw them again. Dennis never went anywhere again without his gun...
It's funny how click got his name. He had just finished oiling his machine gun. The guys were hiding in a bunch of bamboo.. The barrel of the gun was sticking out.. Along came an enemy soldier.. Dennis saw him and was afraid to move the machine gun as the moon had come out and he was afraid that the gun would be seen if he moved it.. He grabbed a fellow soldier’s weapon and fired.. Unfortunately the gun did not have a round in the chamber so it made a great Big CLICK sound.. LOL That guy ran and Dennis yelled and fumed and finally got a round in the chamber. From that day on Dennis was lovingly referred to as Click...