Old Soldiers

In the mid 90's, When I would take my mother to the monthly meeting of the Eldorado High class of 1940, one of the first subjects brought up by everyone was the health of the other members in the class.  It seemed like some one new would be at death's door almost every month and the size of the gatherings got smaller and smaller.  Almost from the first, the number of men was limited.  I think the last time we went, there was only one guy that regularly showed up.  He had one of his knees replaced and was using a cane but he would get in there anyway.  Mom was using a walker (she wouldn't let me push her in in a wheelchair, didn't want to look that feeble)

Now, the E-mail is reporting the death of a lot of the old Guardsmen I served with.  There are almost none left that served in WWII, and a few that served in Korea.  What amazes me is how old the Vietnam Vets are.  A lot of the Captains and Majors I knew in that era are approaching 80 and their longevity is growing to an end.   One of my friends, Major Bernard Larson died over the weekend and his funeral is Thursday.

I don't remember where we went, but I do remember that Bernie had his duffel bag in the back of a truck with the rest of the officers.  For some reason the driver of the truck threw his out instead of just handing it down like the rest.  That bag made a really different sound when it hit.  It was a kind of a splosh, combined with thud and then the bag turned dark green and smelled wonderful if you liked martinis.  I thought he was going to cry.  It turned out that he had a gallon jug of  premixed Martinis along with a jar of olives wrapped up in his sleeping bag.  I think either jar might have survived except for them clinking together was just more that they could stand.  It is funny to me the things I remember about people.  I didn't know where he grew up, what faith he was or anything about his time in Vietnam.  I did remember that he was at one time a Major and the Brigade provost Marshal and he liked martinis.  I had forgotten that he reverted in grade to be a Warrant Officer in our old unit and made CW4.  I had lost track of him when I went full time and went to another unit.     

I am beginning to get to that point in my life that finding out about my high school class mates is hearing about their illnesses and deaths.  I guess it is just a normal part of life or we would be up to our arm pits in old people.   Oh well, I don't fear death it is the getting old and sick that worries me.  I want to go quick and have it be done.  

Yes,I know the subject is morbid, but it is something that as we grow older we think about more and more.  

MUD - Not yet at Death's door.  I know where it is, but no one is there knocking right now.


1 comment:

  1. Makes you want to enjoy everyday!
    I've got miles to go before I rest.