Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Broken Neck--Not Mine

I got a call from a mutual friend about visiting a guy who broke his neck. He flipped his 4-wheeler ATV on a race track. He broke the C-5 vertebra in his neck in two places, but it is not displaced, so he should be fine after wearing a neck brace for two months. No surgery needed. I don't know Crash very well, but it is more than ironic that this happened to him. Mr. Crash is 44, owns a big farm and a cabin in the mountains of central PA where he was racing his 4-wheeler.

The last time I talked to Crash was the on Memorial Day. He said he thought about joining the Army, but never did it. He wondered if he was too old to join. I told him 42 is the limit without prior service, but there are waivers, he should call and ask a recruiter. This wasn't just an idle comment. Crash is a big, strong guy who rides a 4-wheeler like a wild man and loves the woods, but he didn't call.

I went to see him shortly after the accident. He is bored and wants to go places. He can't and he knows it. He was close to becoming a paraplegic the other night, and a random fender bender on the way to K-Mart could displace his already broken vertebra and put him in the wheelchair he just missed on Monday. Near death experiences sometimes make people insane safety nuts, and some people join the Army after they get out of the neck brace. Crash seems to be thinking very hard about Life, the Universe and Everything right now. It will be interesting to see where he goes in eight weeks when his neck heals up.

I saw him just two days ago. He's looking good for a guy in a neck brace.

My First Military Haircut, February 1, 1972

The night before my Basic Training haircut. When I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base on February 1, 1972, among the first order of bu...