Every since I was a small boy my dream of becoming a doctor was real. That is the only thing I wanted. To be able to heal the sick. To improve the quality of life for others. To save lives. After graduating high school the dreams of my youth never faded, they only became stronger. I entered the U.S. Air Force to begin the long hard road of becoming a doctor. After medical training I was assigned to a 250 bed hospital at Eglin A.F.B. in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. My on the job training started on an orthopaedic surgery floor. I was like a sponge. I learned something new every day. I had some friends that were doctors that would let me scrub in on some of their cases. There was nothing that was standing in my way. I became the best tech on our floor. I knew how to set up any type of traction equipment and when doctors orders were written for a type of traction equipment to be set up they asked for me to do it. The doctors and nursing staff knew that I could be counted on to get the job done.
The day was September 18, 1978. It was the day that I threw my medical career out the window. I had done the one thing that ruined my chance of ever fulfilling the dreams that I carried with me throughout my life. Had it not been for Colonel Renold DeBarge, I know, without a doubt in my mind, that I would be practicing medicine as we speak. Think about it for a moment. One action changed the course of my life and has caused me so much psychological and physical pain beyond comprehension. Because of that lapse in judgement I have become an emotional and physical wreck. I am not asking or expecting sympathy from anyone. I made the mistake and am paying for that mistake every day of my life. It is easy to say that I should have known better. That I got what I deserved. Bullshit. I was a 19 year old kid that was manipulated by a very smart retired Full Bird Colonel that wanted to end his life but knew by doing so, he would ruin his wife's chance at receiving his retirement and pension, probably his life insurance, too. I blame my commander of our hospital unit by seeing I was getting too attached to the Col. and instead of reassigning me, she granted the Col.'s request that I be totally in charge of his care. She warned me that I was getting too close but what did she do? She made damn sure that I stayed close. Am I pissed? You damn right I am! I see his face constantly. Terrorizing my psyche. My life was worth nothing to the Col., or, my C.O., for that matter. I am in the process of filing for service-connected disability for PTSD. Even that will not be enough. theblogmeister