Truly Bad Films

Friday, January 13, 2006

4F or How My Dad Did Not Go To Korea

In August, 1952 dad was a rising Sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University. In two weeks he would be back at school. He was getting a degree in Commercial Art.

One August day, he took his Dad's brand new Buick out for a non-descript errand. As he crested a hill not far from his parent's home, unknown to him, a very sleepy man approached from the opposite direction. Just as Daddy came over the top of the hill, he saw the on-coming car veer off the far side of the road. At that moment, the driver woke up, grabbed the wheel and snatched the vehicle back onto the road, but he overcorrected so much that he flew over into the path of Dad's car. Dad hit him in the passenger side door leaving more than 50 feet of skid marks.

A friend of Dad's parents happened to be the first on the scene. The man looked into the wrecked car to see Dad slumped behind the wheel, blood running from his mouth. The family friend assumed that Dad was dead or dying. Cops on the scene noted that Dad had bent the steering wheel with the force of his grip as he tried to stop his car.

The ambulance came and took Daddy to the hospital. Dad's parents were called. My Dad was in a coma for three days. My grandfather sat by Dad's bed for three days and nights praying for Dad to re-gain conciousness. Finally, on the third day, Daddy opened his eyes.

"Where am I," he asked my Grandfather.

"You're in the hospital, son" Grandfather said.

"When did I get sick?" Dad asked.

Dad's jaw was broken and he was bruised and skint. But from the day he woke up he seemd to get better and better. Daddy got back to school two weeks late, but by October he had made up all of his school work and he felt fine.

Then, one morning in October, he was walking across his dorm room when he fell to the floor. The right side o fhis body wasn't working and it was so completely gone from his cognition that he couldn't figure out why he couldn't get up off the floor. His roommate picked him up and put him on his bed. Roommate called the ambulance. Daddy's parents were called from North Carolina. Tests were run. The doctors were never sure what had happened - but in a week or two Daddy had the use of the right side of his body again. But it was weak. He would walk with a limp for the rest of his life.

I don't know why, but they never did conclude he'd had a stroke. Of course, years later CAT scans showed that that was exactly what had happend. Due to the car accident, Daddy had a stroke while he was a Sophmore in college.

He managed to finish his art degree, even though he had to switch to using his left hand. The U.S. Gov was drafting lads for service in Korea at the time. Daddy was willing to go and ready to serve his country. He saw no reason his "seizure" should keep him out of service. But the military saw it differently. They gave Dad a 4F - with no appeal possible.

And that is how my Dad did not go to Korea.


At 8:02 PM, Blogger GG said...

At least he was willing to serve and for that he gets my respect. So thanks Chai's dad!! :)


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