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June 01, 1990 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-06-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Buy Where The Builders Buy . . . and SAVE!

NEW BUILDING
IDEAS GALORE!



"From the moment I got
there I was frightened to
death," he says. "I was sure
they would open the doors of
the plane and kill me."
In addition to the fear, Dr.
Blau said the worst part was
the loneliness. "I left my wife
and three small children. My
wife sent me a tape and letter
every single day and helped
save my sanity."
While he enjoyed salamis
sent from home. Dr. Blau ap-
preciated the Jewish connec-
tion available to him at the
hospital that was not possible
in the jungle. "We had a
Jewish chaplain and had ser-
vices every Friday night," he
remembers. "We even had a
seder at Passover. It blew me
away to have Vietnamese
women serve me gefilte fish."
But, Dr. Blau adds, "There
was nothing romantic about
it. I was not a hero; I hated the
experience and just wanted to
get home."
Radiologist Irving Gold was
the general medical officer at
an army base camp near
Quan Hai. Unlike the others
interviewed, Gold chose not to
see the movie. He decided not
to see Born on the Fourth of
July. "I feel the public con-
sciousness and awareness is
after the fact — it is 15 to 20
years too late."
Dr. Gold served in Vietnam
six months. The victim of a
mortar attack, he lost the
lateral half of his right hand
and part of his palm, and sus-
tained injuries to his right leg.
"We had an alert at 2 a.m.
and went to the bunkers," he
explains. "After the alarm we
were sent back. I caught the
first or second round of fire
entering our living quarters.
I just lay on the floor bleeding
till it was over. I was in shock.
They gave me morphine and
an IV and transferred me to
Chu Lai Hospital. After treat-
ment, I went to Japan to con-
valesce and was then sent
back to the States."
Dr. Gold underwent at least
five subsequent surgeries on
his hand and has praise for
the medical treatment he
received.
Commenting on his ex-
perience, Dr. Gold says, "I may
have lasting effects but am
probably suppressing it. When
I was injured, I asked myself
why, what was it for. I felt I
was dying for nothing. I
wondered if it was worth it. I
wanted it to matter?'
Dr. Gold says he tries not to
think about the war. "It was
not a pleasant experience," he
states. "I want to live in the
present and not the past."
Dr. Gold adds his comment
that "nothing prepares you for
the horrors of war. It seems
like such a waste." ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

43

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