I could not have had a better tech to show me the ropes than Herb. He was 25 years old at that time and I was a young buck of 19. I had joined the Air Force right out of high school, went to boot camp in San Antonio, Tx., then did my medical training in Wichita Falls, Tx. After 12 weeks of med training I filled out what was called a 'dream sheet' which was a list of bases that you would like to go to for you permanent party base. That's what they called it, no shit. It definitely turned out to be a permanent party. Then about 2 weeks before you graduate you find out where you will end up. I had 8 choices and the first choice was Eglin A.F.B, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. I had chosen all coastal bases because I love the sun and Jimmy Buffett. I was lucky because another airman had chosen almost the exact dream sheet as I. His PP base ended up being Minot, N.Dakota. Go figure.
I made it down to the sunshine state a couple days early to get my dorm room assigned and get settled in before I started work. My job was a good job working on an orthopaedic surgery unit and Herb knew his shit. Anything about how traction equipment should go, Herb knew it. Setting up traction is an art and Herb was a master. He was great with patients and he was a very good teacher. I was paired up with Herb for my first six weeks on the job. That is where I learned most of my medical training, on the job. I would volunteer down at the lab, Herb's idea, in the drawing room on my days off. It was not a bad idea, either. It was not long before I became proficient in starting IV's. I took any and all of Herb's advice and it usually benefited the patient. Herb was a great tech and as I am telling him where in OKC I was living a smile came across my face. I was talking to Herb. When I hung up the phone a tear came to my eye and I wished I would have confided in Herb all those years, ago. I want to tell him about colonel DeBarge, that I was responsible for his death, but I knew that as soon as I saw him I would forget the Demon. For a little while, at least. theblogmeister