Context: Experiences May Vary

What’s the difference between the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Nothing really, they’re both the hardest thing we’ve ever done. On the other hand, context is an important thing; as a buddy of mine, a medically retired Marine, recently found out.

He was scheduling an appointment for his son at an Air Force medical facility when he noticed the young lady behind the counter, an Airman, had her arm in a sling. He asked her about her injury. What follows is the conversation in its entirety.

Airman: “Shoulder surgery.”

Marine: “Slap tear? Labral tear? I had two surgeries for that and now have screws in my shoulder.”

Airman: “Yeah, I was reaching for my T.V. remote when I heard a pop.”

Marine: “Oh, I tore mine in a firefight in Iraq … but it’s like the same thing.”

My own shoulder surgery centered around a repetitive use injury and a ridiculous amount of pushups. You can bet a pay check if I ever had an injury involving a TV remote control NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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