In the beginning…
I remember thinking after High School was finished, really, what direction did I want to go with my life? Like most people I had been working; specifically for an electronics company. I was 18 years old and already wanted a change. So my solution was to join the Navy. I wanted to simply fight for our country.
On my first day in Boot Camp I said to myself, “WHAT am I doing here?” We kids were so young and naive. Then came the vaccination shots; a total of 26 while in boot camp. Since I was to be stationed in Hawaii, I received a few more before leaving because that state was considered “overseas”. Great; right?
When lining up in our squads to receive the first round of (MANY) vaccinations, I noticed a peculiar tool was used to administer the shots. It was called an “Air Jet Needle Gun”; this was in 1980. This vaccination gun allowed the U.S. Government vaccination administrators to give more than one shot at a time; thus making the process much faster and cheaper. Explicit directions for use of the vaccination guns were given to those who administered the shots. The vaccination gun company representatives also showed the doctors how to use them as well.
As I stood in line, the technicians who administered the shots kept telling us not to move or jerk because the Air Gun could rip up our arms. At this point, of coarse, I was a bit frightened. After the day of shots and feeling extremely sore, another day lied ahead that repeated the same procedure.
Shortly after, I began to twitch (hard). I would flinch without being able to prevent it and during parade marches others could see something wasn’t right with me.
After I finished my service for the United States, it was time to start my life.
….until I had to apply for life insurance for the job I took, which required a complete physical.
…and then I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C
9 years ago I was told that I had 2 years to live (max) and that I would need a liver transplant. I lived with Hepatitis C for 38 years after contracting the virus infection and had no idea.
I understand mistakes happen, but I feel driven to help the ones who helped us fight for freedom; the Veterans. As long as I stay alive, I’ve got a story to tell! And if I can help you along the way, then it will give me such joy and peace.
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