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Excerpts: Chapter 7 – Medical Evacuation and Recovery
I must have dozed off. Someone was holding my hand. I opened my eyes and saw a big smile and a pair of deep blue eyes looking at me. I said, "Hold my other hand. It hurts, too." The pretty nurse said, "I'm not holding your hand; I'm taking your pulse." She started to put me through the procedures that all new patients go through. I must have been quite a sight to behold. I hadn't shaved in several weeks and hadn't brushed my teeth in quite a while. When I looked at my teeth in a mirror, they were black! The nurse said I must check my valuables, so I emptied all my pockets. I put everything in a pile beside me: my wallet with its contents, K-rations, cigarettes, toilet paper, gum, can opener, a leather thong I used to tie up my raincoat, a can of powdered coffee, some dirty oily rags I had been using as handkerchiefs, and a pair of binoculars I still had around my neck.

. . .

Naturally, I couldn't smell myself, but I imagine the nurse could detect a distinctive barnyard aroma about me. Nevertheless, she was an understanding American gal and didn't make any comments. I was wearing a field jacket, fatigue shirt, fatigue pants, OD (Olive Drab) pants, two OD shirts, two wool undershirts, wool drawers, cotton shorts, and a cotton undershirt. All of them, particularly my underclothes, were black as the night and almost stiff enough to stand up by themselves. My cotton shorts still had a hole in them where a piece of shrapnel had come through them several weeks earlier. There was still dried blood on them.

Copyright Andrew Z. Adkins III, All rights reserved