May 29, 2024

**Do Not Use**

Memorial Day Ceremony is now available in ARC Event Library

Car on a Hot Tin Roof

By John Murphy

Sometimes insignificant happenings stick in your mind. One such thought resurrected itself in mine as I read about the sufferings of the people in Ukraine.

In the spring of 1966, while serving in Vietnam, my company was operating south of a city called Tam Key along Route 1. We stopped at a small hamlet for a break, and while there, the locals came out to interact.

One young mother held her two-year-old son. She sought help as he had a terrible infection or growth at the base of his skull about the size of a lemon. My corpsman could do nothing to help her.

We had a vehicle with us, so I told my men to load the two of them on the bed of the truck and for the corpsman to take the mother and child to the collecting and clearing company near our base camp.

The collecting and clearing company stabilized wounded Marines for further transfer to one of the hospital ships, or to the Naval hospital on Guam.

They had an impressive staff: a thoracic surgeon, a general surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon and an anesthesiologist.

When we loaded the two onto the truck, they lifted the two-year-old on first. Barefooted, he immediately began to cry as the hot steel bed of the truck burnt his little feet. We hoisted his mother up, and she quickly remedied the situation, then off they went. I didn’t know if the doctors would handle the case, but I hoped for the best.

Later, when we returned to our base camp, I had occasion to go by the collecting and clearing company, so I stopped by just to see if they had helped the young charge we had sent their way.

The setup was primitive by civilian standards: tents and cots, but that was all right. And to my delight, I saw the mother and her young son. The doctors had operated on him and probably saved his life. The two of them were doing well and would soon return to their hamlet.

During times of trial, sometimes good things happen.

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