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Feeling Of Shame

My friend Wayne and myself enlisted in the Corp in mid Aug 1970.  I was born with a partial paralysis of my left foot but played football baseball and was above average in sports.  When we took the physical to get in notes and discussions were made and was decided that I was physically fit.  After arriving at Parris Island on the second day had another physical As we all did.  Was picked up a couple of days later by our D.I.'s after a week maybe, had to go see a Navy orthopaedic doc who suggested I may not be fit for duty.

Went through 23 days of boot camp had a heat stroke and spent a couple of days in the infirmary.  A couple of days after rejoining my platoon received orders to go to second battalion reassignment where I was placed in a casual company and 2days latter went to a medical board of the one doc i had seen previously and one other doc and was told I was being discharged. They also said had it been a couple of years earlier that I have been cleared to serve but however at this time the Corp was having somthing like a two hundred thousand man draw down and was not neneeded only taking "perfect" individuals at that time.

My father was a career Navy Corpsman of WW2 and Korea was assigned to the 1st Marines in Korea.  After being discharged felt like I had let my friend the Corps and my family down.  Wayne and I remain friends like brothers all this time, about 2 years I finally confessed to him about the shame I had felt all these years and he told me there was nothing to be ashamed of because I had joined and wanted to serve, but he could understand because he never served in Vietnam and felt that way about our brothers who did.

A few months he gave me a gift that means more to me than most things I have.

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