November 11, 2010, - 1:58 pm
My late father, H.L. Schlussel, was drafted and served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. Most of his graduating medical school class was drafted because they needed doctors in Vietnam. A good deal of these people were Jewish, and my dad told me that when they got off the plane at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, they had more than enough men for a “minyan,” the Jewish requirement of at least ten adult men for a complete prayer service.
David L. Dyer, Vietnam Veteran & Career Soldier
After Vietnam, my father opened his private medical practice as an ophthalmologist. Until about 1995, my father always offered free medical care to Vietnam veterans, never charging them for their visits and appointments. He did this because he was so disgusted at how America treated its Vietnam War veterans, spitting on them and otherwise treating them like dirt when they returned home from Vietnam.
Because of the way they were treated and what they saw in a war we were winning (until America’s left-wing media lost it for us on the airwaves), many Vietnam veterans are still, today, reluctant to talk about their experiences. One of them, David L. Dyer, finally opened up in an important and touching column. Here is an excerpt of his Veterans Day piece:
I was never able to talk about Vietnam without my eyes welling up. I would always give the excuse that there was nothing pleasant about Vietnam, so why talk about it? Or I would change the subject or just leave the room. . . .
I finally told my story at the encouragement of my brother Wayne Dyer, a motivational speaker, who hit me with the words, “Do not die with your music still in you.” . . .
In May 1971, I returned to Vietnam after a short leave. The war was supposed to be winding down. But we were hit with a mass casualty that I never thought we would live through. There were 47 casualties, and we were considerably understaffed.
There was one patient who was placed with the DOAs whom I heard sounds coming from. As I knelt down to him, all I could see were the whites in his eyes. He had over 90% body burns. I put my hand on him and he asked me if he was going to die. I then heard him say in his final breath, “Mom.”
Please read the whole thing.
Tags: David L. Dyer, soldier, Veteran's Day, Vietnam, Vietnam veteran, Vietnam War