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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Goodbye Col. Hack

Col. David Hackworth, one of the very best of the rangers, died of cancer possibly related to Agent Orange exposure this week. A hero among heroes. The most decorated soldier in Vietnam. 8 REAL purple hearts. Nominated 3 times for the Medal of Honor. His book, Vietnam Primer, remains THE textbook on counter-terrorism operations. The RRR has a signed copy personally inscribed to him. All of his non-fiction is superlative. Unlike the rather trashy novels he attempted. But Hack was a man. Compared to say... John Kerry... a giant. I pray he found the Lord before his death.

The issue of Agent Orange exposure led me to the VA website and the startling discover that more illnesses have been added as being related to the defoliant. Among them, Type II Diabetes, Prostate trouble, and Spina Bifida in the vet's offspring. Interestingly enough I have Type II, the only one on both sides of the family to ever have it. And I've had prostitis since I was 25, and my youngest son, fellow river rat, was born with Occult Spina Bifida. Amazing that in almost 10 years of getting health care at the VA, where the health "professionals" have all missed that connection. Bitter, bitter, bitter. Perhaps having the appointment Mrs. RRR and I were to have to discuss my options on Hep C treatment cancelled and put off for two more weeks contributes. Or the fact two years ago I had a liver biopsy there and was refused a pre-op or pain medication and it was done by a Vietnamese doctor with a strong accent. Not that I hold a grudge.

Anyway, my emotions have been up and down the ladder since finding I still have Hep C. And I suppose they will continue to till something definite is decided.


Blogger Hushai said...


One of the tensions in American history, or the history of any Republic for that matter, is the stress caused by the need for professional soldiers and citizen soldiers. Professional soldiers being those who earn their bread from war, and the citizen soldier who lays down the tools of his trade for short time but intends to return to them. For the citizen soldier service in the military is a necessary evil, an interruption in everyday life, but for the professional solider it is everyday life. Republics cannot exist either without a professional cadre nor without the citizen. Yet there is a wariness between the two groups, one I suppose which is healthy. The citizen must always remind the cadre that war is not a healthy norm, and the cadre must always remind the citizen that peace is preserved only by war.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Mid-kid said...

Is it is possible that the "unhealthy" lifestyle of your youth may have contributed to you and your child's illnesses? Can't blame the war and all it involves for everything.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Shamgar said...

2 Points: To Hushai... a quote from Kipling, "Oh it's Tommy this and Tommy that and 'chuck him out, the brute', But it's savior of his country when the guns begin to shoot."

To Mid-Kid... Sure, sure, throw my past in my face. Actually, I don't blame Agent Orange for my Hep C. One hundred percent self-inflicted. But it could well have exacerbated the other problems. Wasn't necessarily A.O., by the way. At least once we were exposed to some sort of biological or chemical weapon. No proof of course, but very strange circumstances.

9:42 PM  

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