I got a call from an old friend last night. He now lives in another state and we have little communication. We had a great visit for over an hour. We talked a lot about another time in my life when things seemed bad. Our conversation made me think about how good can come from bad
The old friend and I spent a lot of time talking about all of our mutual acquaintances who had passed on. When you are my age that is a subject that is always a big topic. The first thing I check in the paper everyday is the obituary column, mainly to make sure my name is not there.
This friend and I first met in the military when we were physicians in a big Army Hospital. It was during the Viet Nam War and a terrible time in our history. At the time, it also seemed like a terrible time in my personal history. I had been drafted as a young doctor with a wife and three young children. I was completely uprooted from a very successful family practice. It truly seemed like the end of my life. The event changed the course of my life. I decided to specialize in Radiology. This turned out to be a a very satisfying career change and I have loved the practice of Radiology for over 40 years. During my military time I lived in Hawaii and the Washington DC area. These are two places I have enjoyed the most in my life. Our lives were immeasurably enriched by our living experience in these places and by the acquaintances we made. In my case, something that seemed horrible at the time became a blessing and changed by life for the better. So, if ask, if I had history to repeat itself would I have Viet Nam occur again? I would have to say, from a personal point of view, YES. In my case, all the positive things may not have happened. That is a very selfish point of view. Perhaps a better way to tell the story is that I made something good from something bad, but the fact is that it wouldn’t have happened if it had not been for Viet Nam.
So, the bright side is that maybe good things will happen from the mess we are in today. I can’t stand to hear the news. The economy is about to hit the tank. The housing market is at the bottom because of the subprime interest debacle. The dollar has lost its value and it cost much more to go to a foreign country now. Our imports far exceed our exports. The price of oil is approaching 100 dollars a barrel and the cost of gasoline is through the roof. Consumer spending is down and businesses are feeling the crunch. The Iraq War goes on without an end in sight. Everyone hates us ,and Iran, terrorist, and the entire Muslim world are threatening to annihilate us infidels from the face of the earth on behalf of their loving God. The planet is melting from global warming and the infrastructure of America is crumbling. The highways are filled with 18-wheelers and raging maniacs in little cars trying to kill everyone. China is poisoning our children and perverts, priest, school shooters and other molesters are helping to abolish the entire child population. We are being invaded by immigrants and the English language and the rest of our culture will soon disappear. Once again, a nuclear holocaust looms. To top it all off, we have a group of self-serving, partisan morons running for President. Anyone has to be a moron or crazy to want the job of president. What we need is a combination of Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Jesus to get us out of our mess.
So, I thought Viet Nam was bad. I just hope my children and grandchildren can someday make a positive story for their lives out of today’s events. Hopefully, they can say, Yes, I would have history repeat itself.
As for me, I’m just setting on the porch longing for the good old days of Viet Nam, the Cold War and civil rights demonstrations. At least we had good TV shows in those days, it was safe to go to school, people went to church, the music was pleasing to the ear and most folks knew how to flush a toilet.