For a portion of the Vietnam War my dad was the Marine Liaison to Balboa Hospital. Basically he made sure wounded Marines returning from Vietnam were taken care of properly, handling their administrative issues, getting paid, etc.
There was one Marine who had stepped on a toe popper (anti-personnel mine). He had two lurid surgical scars than ran up both legs and met at his lower back and began traveling north from there. He had a glass eye and had been told he would likely not walk again.
Marines have a tendency to dismiss “medical science” as some kind of heathen shamanism to be mocked with derision. This Leatherneck was no exception. Not only was he able to walk again, he completed and passed a Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test. As one might imagine, both of these feats were accomplished with some difficulty. The PFT in particular was completed under the kind of immense physical pain that would fold average men like so much wet cardboard. Naval witch doctors begrudgingly issued him a cane.
Despite this, his wounds were such he would have to be medically discharged. My mother, who was a Navy Nurse at Balboa during this episode, said it was the darnedest thing how this Marine’s records kept getting misfiled. I am uncertain if these fortuitous administrative errors were able to get him past a certain ‘years of service’ threshold or merely put a few extra paychecks in his pocket.
In those days there was no direct deposit and everyone was issued hard checks. One day our wounded jarhead came ambling out of the bank after cashing his paycheck and was jumped by three dirtbags. Having mistaken him for an easy mark, imagine their surprise as he savagely laid his cane across their skulls beating them down in the street.
As police arrived on the scene he removed his glass eye and leaned heavily on his cane. Outraged these thugs would treat a “disabled” veteran in such a manner, the cops roughly shoved them into the squad car and took their leave.
So be careful next time you intend to cross a Wounded Veteran. You may end up catching a stump to the rectum.