Saturday, March 5, 2005

March 5, 1945

   Sixty years ago, a young man, 20, me, was leading a patrol in Germany.  I came to an uncovered mine field in the street in a town on the Rhine river whose name I do not remember.  I stopped at the edge of the mine field.

   The lieutenant in charge of the platoon came forward.  He said, "Follow me and step where I step."  Lieutenants were not supposed to lead through mine fields, but he did.  And the Sergeant came next and said, "Step where I steop."  He he went next. 

   I was third.  I followed carefully, but a civilian woman in a window beside the road began desperately gesturing and pointing.  I looked up, thinking she's pointing us out to the enemy.  Later I realized she was pointing out the mines to warn us.  But for a second I was distracted.

   I looked back at the ground, just in time to see my foot stepping down on an exposed mine.  Then I was surrounded by the loudest noise I have ever heard.  I felt myself lifted as high as my head and then felt myself fall back on the ground on my butt.  That is the first thing that hurt.

   "Close your eyes," someone shouted and I did, and they were filled with sand and gunpowder.  I never saw my mangled foot. 

     My buddies carried me into an open door and reassured me that everything was going to be all right, and that my foot was just "broke real bad."  They gave me a shot of morphine from the first aid kit we all carried on our rifle belts.  They said, "You're going home, Ferris.  You're gonna get to go home."  They put me on a litter in a jeep which had been converted to an ambulance.  My foot was throbbing with pain, but because of the morphine, I didn't care.  And off I went to the aid station.

   That was sixty years ago today.

   Last night I was back in an Emergency Room for eight hours because of an infected foot. (The other one)  I lay on a gurney surround by injured and ill folks.  It was wait, wait, wait, all over again.  Some things change a lot in sixty years, and some things don't change at all.

  

13 comments:

plieck30 said...

What a story! Hope your foot comes along good. Take care of your self. Paula

lacaza3 said...

oh my gosh what a terrible thing to happen so young.....
I hope your other foot gets better....
Donna In TEXAS

sylviam4000 said...

Chuck I don't know what to say, words may seem so empty in this situation. I feel for you. That comes from the heart and I know what a bitch life can be at times. It never rains for what it pours, as my gran was always fond of reminding me. I too have a lot to cope with tonight. A hubby who is mentally ill and diabetic amongst other things. His diabetes is causing major concern and he is refusing medical help. Told me half an hour ago he would rather die than carry on. he has other probs too. You can't make someone accept medical treatment but he has been my other half for nearly 43 years, since I met him. If anything happens to him I will never forgive myself but my hands are tied. I will think of you in my prayers.
Keep fighting and don't let go of your humour.
Sylvia x

firestormkids04 said...

Another strong reminder of the sacrifices made to keep us free.  You are in my prayers today and I do hope you are feeling much better soon.  I so enjoy your journal.  Blessings, Penny

mavarin said...

Wow.  Tell your other foot to behave itself; it doesn't have the excuse the other one had.  Thanks for telling us the story on the anniversaryof its happebing--and feel better! - Karen

domesticatedchic said...

Sorry about your foot.. Im sure you get that alot but one has to wonder.. was it maybe blessing in disguise.. maybe it saved your life ? I dont know.. But one has to think of a positive aspect when bad things happen, right?
As for Emergency rooms.. I know them all too well and I despise them now..and the waiting makes it the worst... but thats life .. right?! Hope that your other foot will be ok ASAP! :) Miss M*

astaryth said...

Wow.. what a story! Thanks for reminding us of the sacrifices that some of our soldiers make for us to be free... And, how appropriate that you shared it with us on it's anniversary. And, I hope the other foot behaves itself and gets better!
http://journals.aol.com/astaryth/AdventuresofanEclecticMind

ceschorr said...

thank you for sharing that chuck. the more things change, the more they stay the same? i'm glad to have you as a friend.
sara

ryanagi said...

You've almost come full circle...but hopefully you get to keep the infected foot. Foot problems almost exactly 60 years apart...wild stuff.

labdancer51 said...

How did you manage to survive that blast ?  My Dad served in Burma and India in WWII and some of the things he told me were terrifying.  To think that the soldiers then were little more than boys, we have much to be grateful for.  Bless You,  Sandra x

dornbrau said...

20 years old... you were still just a man-child.  My son is 20.  He called today, disillusioned because his idea of 'being all that he could be' didn't include a long, boring inprocessing period.  He has no idea.  Inwardly I pray that he never does.  One would think that after all you have been through that it isn't fair you should go through more now, but I guess life isn't about whats fair and what isn't.  It just 'is'.

gypsytrader49 said...

Thank you for sharing that incredible story and thank you so much for your service and sacrifice for our freedom. I hope all goes well with this foot.
Kathy
Southern Reflections

debijanssen said...

WOW CHUCK, THATS HORRIBLE.  I'M GLAD YOU LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT AND TO BE ABLE TO SHARE YOUR HUMOROUS AND SOMETIME POIGNANT JOURNAL.