Stars and Stripes

Thursday, October 26, 2017 –

5:00am – Up and off to the kitchen for coffee.  The kitchen here at the Fisher House has become the social suite of the house.  We’ve noticed the camaraderie has increased, along with raised voices in conversation.  The joint has become rather lively lately.  Sometimes too much so.  You might hear conversation from 4:00am on now.

Grazing along the kitchen countertops presenting different fruits, breads, and other baked goodies, I noticed a stack of magazines called “The Stars and Stripes”  This is a military publication, and it was the source of limited news when I was overseas over fifty-years ago.

Seeing this rag reminded me of incident while at DaNang.  I was the captain of a volleyball team representing our unit or maybe the base in a tournament, I don’t remember exactly, but we ended up winning the tournament, and the rag scheduled me to have my picture taken with a major in rank, representing something more official.

I walked into the Major’s office, and he immediately informed those present that he wouldn’t have his picture taken with me until I got a haircut.  Being a Private in Viet Nam, with maybe six-months left of my enlistment, I felt empowered, and I told him I didn’t want my picture taken with him anyway.  There were no pictures other than the one in my mind now.  I’m not so proud of my past rebelliousness, but I’m not ashamed either.  It’s just the way it was.  By the way there was no haircut either.  Most officers lightened up in combat zones, but like anywhere, there’s always a few.

I had recent conversation with a Military Chaplain while staying in Mather Hospital, and he inquired about this era, and my being an angry young man, and asked, “how are now”?  I said, “now I’m an angry old man”.  I was kidding.  I’m not angry with anything.


We drove into Fairfield to Kaiser Hospital for Patty to get a mammogram, blood work, and a flu shot.  Having down time here, we’re filling the days with chores needing to be done anyway.  We got back to Travis for my treatment at 2:20pm.  Tomorrow our appointment is at 8:40am.  We’ll get out of here afterward, and head home for a three-day weekend.  Leaving early will extend that some. It’s kind of exciting like when I had a job and the relief of the weekend was coming.  IMG_1695.JPG

Tonight Ivan, a vet here that can’t speak due to having throat cancer is providing ham hocks and Navy beans for all of us tonight.  Another wife here is making homemade cornbread to go with it.  We have two chefs living here now.


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