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July 20, 1967 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1967-07-20

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Emergency Ward Off the Da Nang Coast

TM'7- - - --r, !-- - -zT

here Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Wil Prevail 40MYADS. N ROMC.


NEws PHONE: 764-0552


ditorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all rebrints.




The American Dream


A Coda Upon Wakening

NOTHING IS REALLY gained, said
the President, "by pointing out that
this country or that country lost more
yesterday than the one before."
Men's lives he was talking about.
The President would calm the fears of
senators a and. soldiers' mothers that
Vietnam has not become "an Ameri-
can war."
Westmoreland calls for a hundred
thousand more troops. The secretary
of defense shies away. Cost account-
ing and the economy, you know. The
nation that chews up $2 billion in re-
sources a month is not a bottomless
Where does it all end? And where
'do we emerge, beyond the broken prom-
ised deliverapces that slip by with the
There is no rejoicing in Dodge City;
the optimism of a year ago is gone to-
day. In Wichita, Cairo on the Missis-
sippi, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Knox-
ville, South Bend-industrial hearts of
America, riding like ships on yellowing
seas of grain: tonight many beds are
empty and hallways echo the foot-
steps of the walking wounded.
WHO SPEAKS for the Americans
now? Did they love their life so
much that they gave their sons or the
dollars earned by sweat and thought?
Do they so fear The Enemy that they
shiver in their domiciled cities and let
the weary cynical professionals of the
State Department do their thinking
for them?
The ports of San Francisco, Diego,
Seattle, Chicago gird with the mon-
strous paraphernalia of the war ma-
chine grinding its way to the East for
some unforeseen confrontation in the
night. Stocks of jeeps, tents, napalm,
defoliants, boots, insigniae and food-
stuffs ground from the fabled wealth

of the American continent are all as-
sembled at the ports of embarkment:
along with the freshly crewed, scrub-
bed and straited recruits and draftees.
Were we so appointed the guardians
of our brothers that the world should
ask our permission to go about its busi-
ness? How long ago was the seed
planted in other heritage? Korea? Nic-
aragua? San Juan Hill? Or was it Trip-
oli? Vera Cruz? Or even the cliffs at
nam wear black pajamas; they come
into villages to organize councils and
remove those who were put into pow-
er by the puppet government. Whose
revolution do they steal? They are
well-advised by the Americans in green
berets or black hats. Soon the Ameri-
cans will do this work themselves.
Hearts and minds will be won. Or
Black men live in run-down cities.
They come in from the hinterland and
exist in unemployed or menial squalor
beside the gates of the white master.
When he speaks in the forgotten ac-
tions of his forebears, the troops are
sent to quell him. This is not Nairobi
or Johannesburg. It is Los Angeles,
New York, Atlanta. Where is the prom-
ised land, the equality of opportunity
stated in the documents? Other na-
tions have their constitutions which
the gunboats are dispatched to en-
But who speaks for the people? Down
in the bowels of society, who senses
when the worm begins its gnawing?
In the universities and the computer-
slick suburbs there may still be time
for dreaming of idylls in an oasis.
But when the sleeper awakens, what

After six months of preparation,
we were finally leaving for Viet-
nam. Our ship, the hospital ves-
sel "Respose," had been brought
out of mothballs, the crew
trained, the sea trials completed,
and we were underway just in
time to start the new year. We
sailed under the Golden Gate on
Jan. 2, 1966.
There were 250 hospital corps-
men (the Navy's equivalent of
medics) aboard the "Repose."
Most, like myself, were in the
service for a single hitch, and
anxious to get out. For the ma-
jority of us it was to be our first
time at sea, and we were under-
standably excited. After all, we
were not only going to sea, but to
the glories of war as well. (Two
months later we decided that
maybe a seafaring life wasn't so
The "Repose" wasn't very fast,
and it took us until the middle
of February to get to Da Nang,
in the northern part of South
Vietnam, which was to be our
general base of operations for the
next year or so. That year seems
to have grown some now, and the
"Repose" is still in Vietnam, al-
though the original crew has all
been changed.
Most of the hospital staff
aboard the "Repose" wanted to
see a little action, and we were
disappointed to find we wouldn't
be allowed ashore except for an
occasional beach party or a viist
to a local beer hall. (Since we
often were at sea for two months
at a time, and there is no (legal)
drinking on ship, these little ex-
cursions became valuable "incen-
tives," to stay on the good side
of the officers.)
Military efficiency being what
it is, we stayed in Da Nang har-
bor for almost three full days
waiting for our first patient.
There were plenty of men needing
attention, but the powers that be
kept sending them to the over-
crowded hospital ashore (since
made famous by Ramparts Maga-
zine). Finally some unknown hand
changed things and we began to
receive casualties. We had been
ready for patients since three days
out of Pearl Harbor.
FINALLY, WITH great fanfare
our first patient arrived. He was
a Marine who had cut his eye
when his rifle had recoiled into
his face. The next day he was
sent back- to duty.
Our naive thirst for action was
satisfied a few days later, when
we went to Chu Lai; about 60
miles south of Da Nang, to help
in Operation Double Eagle. Dur-
ing this opertaion we were at last
able to do what we had travelled
halfway around the world to do
-help the American wounded.
It's difficult to describe our
feelings when we finally saw for
ourselves what the war was all
about; we were no longer so an-
xious to go ashore.
All of us had worked for at least
a year in a Naval hospital prior
to coming aboard the "Repose,"
and most of us had at least sone
experience in the Emergency
Room, but none of us, save the
few who hadbeen in Korea, had
ever seen such a steady flow of
people so full of holes.
In the next nine months Opera-
tion Double Eagle was followed
by several others, perhaps the
worst of which was Deckhouse IV.
Wherever the operations were, we
would go along the coast to the
nearest point (so long as it was
between Chu Lai and the DMZ,
a distance of about 150 miles)
and take care of the casualties.
Between operations, and to a
lesser degree during them, we
would take aboard Marines with
tropical diseases, usually malaria.
In the first nine months we were
there,' we treated roughly 4,000

patients, about half battle casual-
ties and half victims of disease.
I WOULD HATE to say whether
I would rather have a bad case
of malaria or a shrapnel wound
(assuming neither to be 'fatal,


A Vietnamese fishing junk sails by the hospital ship Repose as she rides at anchor in ha Nang harbor.

which wasn't always the case). We
did have one man aboard, Sgt.
Perkins, who took close to 60 days
to recover from his malaria, then
was back the next week with a
shrapnel wound, but I never did
ask him which he preferred.
The malaria we most frequently
found was p. falcipurim, a par-
ticularly noxious type turning up
more and more in Vietnam. Men
would come aboard with fevers
as high as 107 degrees and still
live. One of the doctors put his
thoughts on the matter rather
well when he 'said, "I was told in
medical school that if it reached
105, sell."
The saddest cases to come
aboard were the head wounds,,and
there were usually enough of
these to keep our Intensive Care
Unit more than busy. There was
a very capable neurosurgeon
aboard, and he put in some truly
amazing hours trying to save men
who would probably end up as
vegetables, but might be able to
live useful lives again. Nerve
tissue doesn't regenerate, but
sometimes the tissue near a dam-
aged area will slowly take over
Fthe damaged nerves' function, so
it was never certain how long
these patients would survive, or
how full a recovery they would
make. Sometimes these patients
would, after a couple of months,
show signs of improving and be
sent back to the States for longer
term care. Occasionally they
would remain semi-comatose for
two or three months, responding
only to pain, and then die. If any-
thing could turn a man against
war, -watching a few of these pa-
tients would do it. It got to the
point where I didn't really pity
the men with inoperable head
wounds. At least they would be
through with it in a matter of
The "Repose" had another
mission, in addition to troop sup-
port. We were to treat Vietnamese
military and civilian personnel as
space and time allowed. We never
did have much of either, but we
did have one ward set aside for
Vietnamese civilians, and there
were always a few soldiers on the
surgery wards, since they would
be brought in with our own cas-
ualties during battle.
The Vietnamese civilians were
usually referred to us from the
medical assistance teams ashore
who couldn't help them without
more equipment. ("Repose" was a
complete hospital with '20 doctors,
29 nurses, a number of operating
rooms, and two portable heart-
lung machines.)



Oppressed Maj ority

A "Chinook" helicopter takes off from the-flight deck of the "Repose"
with a load of wounded Marines headed back to the States for long-term
medical care.

"minority" groups today. Progress is
being made (albeit slowly) toward racial
equality in education, hiring, career ad-
vancement and the rest. But nobody no-
tices another large, chiefly silent con-
tingent of second-class citizens who are
not really a minority group at all, but
constitute 51 per cent of the nation's
Having been brought up to believe that
all the requirements- for a full life may
be found somewhere between the kitchen
and the ironing board, it"is not surprising,
to find many women content in that po-
sition; indeed, scandalized at the thought
of any other kind of life. But amazingly
enough, there are growing numbers of
women who find the prospect of such a
life abominable.
MANY AMERICANS-of both sexes-
obj ect to a woman's working on the
grounds that it is bad for her children.
This is utter nonsense. The same people
who find a mother's job as detrimental
to her child's welfare often have no ob-
j ection to her spending an equivalent
Samount of time on church activities. To-
tal time spent with a child is of no im-
portance; how it is spent is. A woman
who by temperament and training is more
suited to some employment other than
housework will be unhappy if she is forc-
ed to remain at home, and her attitude
would harm the child far more than her
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
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Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Another problem for the woman who
chooses to pursue a career outside the
home is the lack of opportunities, first
for employment, and then for advance-
ment. To be sure, some fields are by their
very nature dominated by women, just as
others lend themselves more easily to
men. Yet law, engineering, medicine and
college teaching--all of which are with-
in the female capability-are notoriously
Underneath all the sociological fac-
tors which combine to make women sec-
ond-class citizens are a lot of psycholog-
ical ones. Patterns of behavior are ulti-
mately derived from patterns of thought,
and it is here that women suffer the
most from prejudice. Few people would go
so far nowadays as to call women chat-
tel, but many of our basic ways of think-
ing are remnants of the day when this
was indeed the case. Perhaps most notor-
ious of these is the "double standard"
of sexual behavior, but more significant
is the dichotomy that exists in most peo-
ple's minds between the career woman
and the grown up Little Girl Next Door.
THE CAREER WOMAN, as everybody
knows, is a woman who is trying to
be a man. She wears severe gray suits,
horn-rimmed glasses, gray hair pulled
back into abun and a scowl on her face.
She is, in a word, unfeminine. The truly
feminine woman, on the other hand, is
considered to have no views, mind, or
personality of her own, but to exist sole-
ly as an accessory to her husband. There
is no denying that both types do exist, but
most women simply do not fit in either
category. Surprisingly enough, there are
even some who (perhaps naively) main-
tain that it is possible to both have a
career and be a woman at the same time.
What those women who are concerned
about their rights want is not superiority
to men. All they ask is equality of oppor-
tunity and the right to be treated as hu-
man beings and not as combination maid

our doctors performed the first
open heart surgery ever to be per-
formed at sea, which was good
for a picture in Time. The first
operation was a success, but sev-
eral that followed were not. It
was explained to me - I believe
truthfully-that this was so be-
cause the patients, all Vietna-
mese, had heart disease which
had progressed to such a state
where it was almost beyond treat-
ment. ,
After watching literally thou-
sands of wounded men be carried
aboard, I became quite. detached
about the whole thing, and it took
something really shocking to have
any effect on my sensibilities.
Months of seeing arms without
hands, legs without feet, faces
without eyes, or noses,, or teeth,
even bodies without legs, dulls the
nerves to the point where almost
nothing can make an impression.
It's an experience not even shared

by the men in the field, who see
friends wounded and killed but
are then able to get away from
it for a while. The men in combat
usually don't experience the ex-
tent of the casualties. They may
realize that their entire company
has been wiped out, and to many
that is almost their entire world,
but it's still a small number
compared to what we witnessed.
I too had the experience of watch-
ing friends come aboard sick,
wounded, or dying, but even that
didn't make the impression left
by seeing so many other wound-
ed, so continuously.
I THINK THAT if ayone wants
to begin to understand the reality
of war, they should spend a few
months in a hospital handling
combat casualties. They should
take time to look at the' results
of war. They should try to com-
prehend what it means to be

wounded. They should try to get
some concept of the enormity of
the damage done to the human
body and mind. Would-be heroes
and fanatical defenders-of-the-
faith should learn what some of
the costs are before they under-
take things like war.
Those of us working in the hos-
pital learned. When we first came
aboard the ship in San Francisco,
almost all of us had volunteered
to go with the Marine Forces in
Vietnam (Marines use Navy med-
ical personnel). When our tour
aboard the "Repose" was over we
were told we would have our
choice of our next duty station.
Of the 250 who had been so an-
xious to go ashore and see what
it was all about in February, only
five decided they still wanted to
spend some time with the Ma-
rines. The rest of us were happy
to get as far away from Da Nang
and the war as we could.


Funny Thing About That* ..

Letters to the Editor

Student newspapers are rarely
popular. Here at the University,
officials have insisted that The
Daily is immature and weak, dis-
torts the true situation at the
University, dares to criticize the
system of controls over activities
at the University and fails to serve
the best interests of the Univer-
Recently, administrators - in-
cluding President Hatcher, Vice
President for University Rela-
tions Radock and Vice President
for Student Affairs Cutler-at-
tempted, without success, to block
the appointment of The Daily's
1967-68 editor. For a look at what
things are like on the other side
of the Iron Curtain, the following
item from The New York Times
of July 11 is instructive:
"MOSCOW, July 10-An ar-

needless controversy by arbitrar-
ily, and often without explana-
tion, banning plays. being re-
hearsed for production.
"The action against an edi-
tor of the paper, Komsomolys-
kaya Pravda, and the writers of
the article was foreshadowed
over the weekend in an attack
by the Central Committee of the
Young Communist League,
"The identity of the member
of the editorial board who was
dismissed could not be verified
tonight. The authors of the ar-
ticle were Fyodor Burlatsky, a
political analyst for Pravda, and
Lev Karpinsky, a writer on the
"The Communist Youth lead-
ership accused the writers and
the paper's editorial board of a
"crude ideological mistage" in

have an obligation to write about
life in all its positive and nega-
tive aspects, they added:
"'However, one gets the im-
pression that some cultural of-
ficials responsible for the activi-
ties of the theatre misunder-
stand the purpose of their work.
They try to evade serious an-
§wers to the serious questions
posed by life.'
"The denunciation of the
writers, printed in Kosmololys-
kaya Pravda, declared:
"'The publication of the ar-
ticle inflicted harm on the cause
of artistic creativity and con-
tradicted party principles in the
fields of literature and the arts.
Discussing isolated facts about
the delaying of some theatrical
premieres, the writers unjustifi-
ably broadened the picture and

Course Evaluation
With regard to yesterday's ar-
ticle on the course evaluation
booklet, I have several additional
- The Honors Steering Committee
(HSC) last spring discussed very
seriously the possibility of insti-
tuting a course evaluation booklet
somewhat along the lines of Har-
vard's booklet. It was our intention
to begin on a small scale evalu-
ating some of the more popular
honors courses and then later ex-
panding to encompass all of the
University courses.'Our constituents
were requesting a booklet, but they
were also volunteering eagerly to
work on it. This was. not an apa-
thetic group. Realizing that SGC
was also working on such a pro-
ject, we contacted SGC through
Steve Spitz, '68. He warned us that

courses. The result would be ad-
mittedly incomplete but would be
a useful precursor to the final pro-
duct. But progress was hindered by
delays in the faculty-student com-
mittee under SACUA, products of
minor disagreements concerning
the general philosophy of the com-
mittee. Discussion centered around
planning the planning of the book-
let, not the booklet itself. Hence,
the faculty remains cautious, the
student body remains impatient,
and the booklet remains unborn.
Usually one thinks of faculty
action as laden with red tape and
of student action as quickly ac-
complished. I fear that in seeking
student unity on this issue, SGC
has gathered many little sparks to
make a great flame and then pro-
ceeded to let it be extinguished by
submitting it to SACUA and leav-
ing it in their hands. SGC can
save this issue only by taking a


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