Army

A (Short) Veteran’s Day Note

Take 4.. I have deleted 3 posts with this title.. Why? Short take is I wanted to do a big post with lots of mentions of family members that have served. However, my genealogy software and I are at odds on how to search my trees to find information. The software won… So I’m just going to focus on one member of my family (I could do 10000 words on the veterans in Wifey’s family) – Clifford Leo Hicks. Uncle Clifford was my mother’s younger brother, and the eldest son.

He never married. So, no children. I have several memories of Uncle Clifford, (never Cliff – even his siblings called him Clifford) mostly good, but a couple scary (at least to the child of 8 or 9 that I was at the time). He never told any war stories to me, but I was in the room, or at least close enough to hear some of the tales when he was talking with the adults. Especially when his brother-in-law, Uncle Homer was there. They were both WW2 survivors.

He was at Pearl Harbor that fateful day, and as his gravestone shows, a veteran of Korea as well. I do recall him mentioning that running through the falling bombs at Pearl Harbor was nothing compared to the snipers while on patrol in Korea. He still had nightmares of running for cover while bullets were bouncing off the rocks at his feet.

Florence National Cemetery, Florence, South Carolina
All the Hicks kids. Uncle Clifford is second from the left and my mom is to his left (white sweater and black dress).

My sister says she remembers he thought of himself as a “ladies man”. She has a picture of uncle Clifford with a bunch of women. She mailed it to me a few days ago, so I can’t include it here, unfortunately.

Please leave a comment with the veterans in your life. They may have departed from this life, but they’re never truly gone as long as they live on in our memories.

Peace,
B
(Sgt. (R), US Army and proud father of an active duty soldier)

What’s Stuck In My Head – 18 April

A.K.A. The anxious edition..

While you are reading this (you are reading this and not just jumping to see which video I’m using this time, right??), I’m sitting in my dentist’s chair having yet another crown done. This isn’t just another crown, it’s a replacement crown for a job done only 14 months ago. Sheesh..

I do have a moderate phobia of dentists. Which is a bit odd when you consider that I went through several years of orthodontic works as a teenager with no real issues. Plus, the fact that I spent the majority of my young adult life as an Army Combat Medic (equivalent to a Paramedic).  I taught many classes on giving immunizations and even intravenous (IV) classes.  I’ve given myself an IV (as a demonstration), and even sutured both of my sons.  Needles and blood are not the problem.

The problem started long ago. In 1986 to be exact.  I was leaving Fort Bragg, NC the next day.  My wife and son (only had the one at the time), were leaving first to Florida to drop them off, then I was headed to Fort Greely Alaska.  This particular afternoon, I was playing racquetball with a few of friends that were staying at Fort Bragg.  While running to the back wall of the court my ankle turned and I went face first into that concrete back wall. I ended up shattering my right front tooth (number 8 if you’re really interested).

Upon arrival at Fort Greely, as with any military posting, you must turn in your personnel, education, medical, and dental records at the appropriate offices.  When I showed up at the dental clinic, they immediately scheduled an appointment with the dentist to have that shattered tooth evaluated.

Here’s the kicker.  About 20 years before this I was hit in the mouth by a baseball.  This damaged the tooth extensively, and according to the family dentist the tooth was “dead”.  I had no feeling in the tooth, and it yellowed quickly.

I told the dentist in Alaska the story and she decided I needed a root canal.  I wasn’t really surprised that she wanted one, but since the tooth had been damaged so long ago, I wasn’t sure it was really needed.

Now, I don’t know if this dentist was right out of school or what. But it was almost three hours in the chair, and so many injections of lidocaine; all for naught.  In the end all she could say was the root was too calcified to her to get it out. And I’m thinking, I could have told you that.  I have my suspicions that I was her first root canal without supervision and she was not about to fail.

Sad to say that I now have a dislike for dentists.

But the dentist we use is anything but that. He is a really nice guy, has great music playing, and even tries to make you laugh whenever possible.  Since this is just a replacement, and the temporary is already there, it should be cake and pie. Maybe. Hopefully.  Let’s hope he’s not having a bad day.

Peace,
B

P.S. Have a medical phobia of your own? Leave a comment so we can all commiserate with you!

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