Letters to the Editor

Minard letter: Military medical

I was a machinist mate in the aft engine room of a destroyer DD681 for three years. All we had for medical was a lifer 1st class corpsman. He almost caused a sailor (with bad stomach pain) to die. The corpsman told the sailor he was a malingerer trying to get out of work. Finally the sailor had to be air lifted to a carrier. He had a ruptured appendix and peritonitis had set in. The doctors removed several feet of his guts to save his life. I have pictures of his helo lift; but certain people would say it is a sea story. The 1st class corpsman was selling penicillin shots to his buddies with V.D. so it wouldn’t be in their medical records. The corpsman left the ship in Japan. When we got to home port we were put in formation and the captain came by and told us that a large quantity of penicillin was missing and no enlisted men could go home until it was found. I stepped out of formation and asked the captain if the supply of penicillin had been checked before that corpsman left the ship in Japan. The captain went to check and within 30 minutes we were going home to our families.

Walter Minard, Nampa