European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 26 1999, Page 46

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 26, 1999, Darmstadt, Hesse Be grateful for your be our guest Tom Budzyna do you want to express yourself Send in your column and a color photo of yourself. Columns sent on disk should be in text Only format. If you Are emailing a digital photo it should be color Rob at least 1 my. Include a phone number where you can be reached. Pacific email letters mail. mail be our guest stars and stripes unit 45002, Apo a 96337 Europe email news mail. mail be our guest stars and stripes unit 29480, Apo a 09211 every family member has his or her thing to do at Christmas time and for me its writing the family Christmas letter. Here a my Effort for 1999. At a Surfside resort Many years ago Santa decided to wrap up a tropical vacation with one More trip to the Beach. While walking from his Bungalow he happened upon a group of tormenting boys who had dressed up a poor Basset hound to look like Rudolph the red nosed Reindeer. Making an on the spot correction Santa struck the fear of More than one Christmas without presents into the boys then befriended the Basset hound and named him Rudi. Rudi became the love of everyone at the North pole. Instead of Reindeer games he chased Sticks and became an Ace Slipper Fetcher for the staff of elves. He stayed close to Santa and even helped Rudolph through a couple of Tough Christmas Eves a but that a another Story. Life carried on its random path of highs and lows mostly highs. Then at one of Rudis annual Check ups the chief Elf veterinarian said a Santa the films show a tumor in Rudis head. Its the Doc weighed the options for Santa a we can treat it with Medicine but i doubt it will be effective. We can do nothing and risk hormone problems blindness or worse. Or we can Cut the a buggy he Santa turned White and speechless. Rudi peered at the veterinarian staff gazed at All the credentials hanging on the Wall and asked the Doc a do you feel Lucky a the Doc held up his hands and replied a sure look at these hands. But do you feel Lucky a Rudi looked at Santa looked Back at Doc and said a Cut the Muggah out a the Bright lights and chill of the operating room soon faded As Rudis anaesthesia took effect. Minutes seemed like hours As Santa waited. Mrs. Claus and others went about their daily routine pausing every so often to listen for the door the phone a anything. A they said it would take four to five hours and they re still at it a Santa wailed. Into the eighth hour the doors opened and Rudi was rolled into the intensive care Ward hooked up to All sorts of gizmos that measured extracted and regulated. The Doc said a a he la spend the night Here and move up to the recovery Ward Santa Felt weak at the Knees looking at All the contraptions hooked up to Rudi. He comforted Rudi As Best he could until a nurse sent Santa Home to rest. Days passed. Santa complained to the doctor a the hardly eats Doc. What la we do a weighing up the options again the Doc replied a we can try another helping of Hospital Helper but that Hasni to been very effective. We can feed him through a tube then mrs. Claus threw the door open took charge and suggested with a firm smile a for we can bring him Home and give him fat Tbone Steak new England lobster and some Boston baked Beans a Rudi jumped up Shook off the wires and tubes and let mrs. Claus take him Home. Santa a eyes welled up like a soaked sponge As he mrs. Claus and All the elves watched Rudi treat himself to a heaving helping of protein a Woof a Rudi exclaimed a finally real food a in a couple of weeks Rudi was out watching Reindeer games. After a month he moneyed around sniffing Sticks in the Yard and inventorying the elves slippers. Two months later Rudi was romping in the Yard like nothing Ever happened. Later while playing fetch Rudi said to Santa a you know its folks like you that make a Guy feel a yeah a Santa replied As he tossed a stick a a it a dogs like you who remind us to feel Lucky a Rudi sarcastically jabbed a Are you saying in a a dog a a no a Santa chuckled a a in a saying we re All Lucky a the rest of my letter includes a family update but for this column ill spare you and admit the Story you just read is about me. In March 1999, after a minor operation to fix a problem with my nose doctors at the Walter Reed army medical Center in Washington discovered a tumor in my pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located in the very Middle of the head under the brains hypothalamus. Luckily for me two soldiers at Walter Reed one airborne qualified and the other a Ranger Are also first rate neurosurgeons a with steady hands what Are your plans for the last new years eve of the 1900s? a a in a partying on new years because ill be in the pc. Wanda Washington Camp Walker Taegu South Korea a a in a taking my family for a ski weekend in Chi Emsee Germany a George Miller Heidelberg Germany a i May work or throw a Small party at Home. I find new years to be Over hyped and cd rather spend the night with family and friends rather than stand around with a big crowd waiting for a Small Ball to go Down a pole Vince Benedict Heidelberg Germany a will be staying with my family in the safety of my Home so when the Power goes out in a sgt. 1st class Kevin l. Townsend Camp Henry Taegu South Korea a a in la be in the states thinking of All the friends i met in Korea wishing they were Here celebrating the new millennium dancing a til my legs fall off with the lady 9 love rite a sgt. Kenneth a Taz Quot Burrier Camp Walker Taegu South Korea a i m going to treat it like a regular 31 december. In a doing my part to decrease the publicly created hysteria. Ill be at Home with my Ronald Hochsteller Heidelberg Germany in All i made four trips to Walter Reed. As for my expenses i was reimbursed for my hotel lodging and meals and my wife who accompanied me As a non medical attendant for two of my More serious medical encounters was reimbursed for the actual Cost of her meals. Medical evacuation aircraft took care of the flights to and from Washington for us both. I asked the surgeon How much it Cost to run the operating room and he told me $50 to $60 per minute. I spent about 10 hours there altogether you can do the math. I received first class care and am Back on the Job a a 110% recovery. Of there were the 30 Days of convalescent free leave the doctor ordered after my surgery. Add a months pay if you re crunching numbers. I paid $45 rations for the Days i was an inpatient. I frequent the editorial Page in stars and stripes and read criticisms about our military system a All of them Worth discussing. Lets not forget however just How Good military members have it. I did no task for the tumor. In a Lucky it was discovered and treated while i was an Active duty Soldier. How Many employers would do All that for me How Many could if you re an Active duty Soldier the system we love to talk about is ready to give you the same Caliper of medical care. So do you feel Lucky i do. Maj. Tom Budzyna is Deputy Public information officer for nato s Allied land forc Central Europe in Heidelberg Germany. Single slices a a in a expecting so in a taking the advice of the Grumpy old Man on �?o60 in a staying Home its the easiest thing to staff sgt. Angela Cannon Heidelberg Germany compiled by Allison Perkins and Marion Callahan a spending time with my family in Korea away from my family in the states wishing i could enjoy the new millennium in both places at the same staff sgt. John a a lefty Marlow Camp Carroll Taegan South Korea you be Trow fivers by we mess a sorry the Hli Law spirit pushed w6 Over the it it a 1999 los Angeles times Syndicate solution to Puzzle on Page 15 n i i t t i 0 w w h e r e t i a r a a s t r 0 b e

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