The Day After My Nineteenth Birthday
My Nineteenth Birthday
Where I arrived in Vietnam two weeks before Bob Hope‘s Christmas show got to Long Bin compound about an hour north of Saigon, South Vietnam, where early Christmas morning you could hear Silent Night being sung across the valley between three out-post.
The Christmas I remember that was really special came a year later while I was home on Leave from being stationed in Fort Ore, CA. On December 4, 1971, my parents, baby sister & I were in a car wreck that almost kill the whole family.
It was on a Saturday morning we were headed north on Hwy # 97 out of Klamath Falls, Oregon to take my baby sister back where she stayed, when 12 miles out of town we were hit head-on by an older couple driving a 4×4 pick-up that lost control on black ice.
There was no place for my father to go to avoid the truck for right behind it were other cars traveling downhill as we were going up. Out of the six people in this accident, all lived, Amen. All but my baby sister had long hospital stays.
I was the only one in the two vehicles that had a seatbelt on. Plus was the only one awake right away. As I kick the back door to my Dad’s car I check on my parents than the two that were in the pick-up that hit us. Got a Logging truck driver to stop, where he had a CB-Radio & he contacted the Oregon State Police & EMTs.
As I detected traffic I give a report of the accident to the State Trooper & told the EMTs who were hurt the worst. I was then told to go & sit in the Ambulance to get warm. That’s when I found I was hurt more than I thought.
Where I had said all I had was a blather problem & through something out in my back. After they got all of us to the Hospital in Klamath Falls that’s when I was told the Seatbelt broke my L-4 Vertebra.
Where I didn’t believe the ER Doctors until they show me the X-Rays. Once I was able to travel the Army wanted me in their closes Hospital which was Ft. Lewis, Washington. where for days before Christmas my Doctor asked to see me.
It was the first time since the accident that I had a chance to walk but I ran to see my Doctor. The young nurse said slow-down you might fall. I said catch-up & I won’t fall. Anyway, God had healed my back so well the Doctor had to ask me where the Fracture was.
He put me in a cast shaped like a turtle shell where on Dec 23 the same nurse asked what was I still doing in bed when I was going home for Christmas from the hospital. I told them all would be fine but what close would I wear since nothing I owned fit anymore with the Casted.
They had it covered & got me a Class A Uniform to fit over things, by Christmas I was walking into the same hospital my mother was still in since she was hurt the worse. The Doctor I had there at Klamath Falls was getting off duty when he saw me walking up the hill.
He Said: I should have listened to you… I think you’d be tied to a bed for a year or better before you ever be up walking around. We were able to have a Christmas party for my Mother & Baby sister with her mother came in from out of town.
Where my love for rebirth, the Lord Jesus’ Peace, Joy & Love can be experienced by all. May they all find the Love, Joy & Peace that my wife & I have found. It can’t be bought by no amount of money but it can be shared by those who know,
Amen & Merry Christmas.