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To the editor:
Veterans, someone or somebodies need to take the lead and help stop this COVID monster.
I spent 8 years as an Air Force Public Health Tech and another 26 years as an NCO and First Sgt for numerous groups state side and deployed overseas. The number one mission detractor was health and safety processes ordered by Commanders and supported by the troops. The more troops at sick call, meant less concrete poured that day. We all have had the misery of shots, body armor, gas masks, hard hats, chem suites and dust goggles but they kept us safe and able to return home as veterans.
Military personnel are the most invulnerable group I have worked with. They never get sick, maimed, dismembered or killed but it happens and has happened a lot. They in turn have had issues with the health, safety and protective gear that have proven time and time again to prevent injuries. I guess we would term it as the military “macho” complex that accompanies young GIs who want to tie a red bandana around their head and charge the enemy. Wounds or injuries hurt and never quit hurting.
Sadly, I have had to mourn the death of a dear friend who was killed in Iraq from an AK 47 round that passed into his body through his right armpit which should have had a new piece of body amour covering it, but that was too uncomfortable. I had a Vietnam vet at Clark AB receiving treatment for a destroyed right lung from shrapnel. He stated that the dang flak jacket was just too hot. Andy was a carpenter deployed to Panama. He was hoisting trusses on a school building and it fell. Sadly, he felt that his hard hat was too hot, so was wearing a bandana around his head and neck when the truss flipped over and hit him on the head. Andy was medivacked to the base hospital where he spent days in coma and has never really recovered. Was his hard hat too hot, I guess it was his right not to wear the hat but many others had to pay.
I realize that you all have personal rights and beliefs but my experience tells me that we need to stop petting the puppies if we want to stop the rabies outbreak or don’t visit the clubs in Saigon. The simple use of a mask will help beat this monster just as dry socks helped beat the foot rot during the war in Vietnam.
Stand up with pride when you wear the mask because you are now a soldier in the battle that our community must win. Contact the Ringgold County Veterans Affairs at 641-464-2397 if you need a mask.