WWII Veteran Falls Out of His Bunk, and Ends Up in 20 Different Hospitals

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Military news…

Combat death puts spotlight on Americans fighting in Ukraine

An undetermined number of Americans — many with military backgrounds — are thought to be in the country battling Russian forces beside both Ukrainians and volunteers from other countries even though U.S. forces aren’t directly involved in fighting aside from sending military materiel, humanitarian aid and money.


Germany: Quitting Russian oil imports by late summer is ‘realistic’

Germany says it is making progress on weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels and expects to be fully independent of Russian crude oil imports by late summer.


Some civilians evacuated from Mariupol steel plant

Some women and children were evacuated from a steel plant that is the last defensive stronghold in the bombed-out ruins of the port city of Mariupol, a Ukrainian official and Russian state news organizations said, but hundreds are believed to remain trapped with little food, water or medicine.


Rep. Kinzinger introduces measure to allow US military intervention if Russia uses chemical weapons

Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the Illinois Republican said the joint resolution would not be a mandate for the Democratic president but rather a measure that would provide an option for Biden’s administration while also sending a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he pursues war with Ukraine.


Hacking Russia was off-limits, but the Ukraine war made it a free-for-all

Experts anticipated a Moscow-led cyber assault; instead unprecedented attacks by hacktivists and criminals have wreaked havoc in Russia.


US weapons stockpiles will not be depleted to dangerous levels for Ukraine war, military officials tell senators
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a subpanel of the Senate Appropriations Committee that the Pentagon is closely watching its inventories and working with the defense industry to replenish weapons such as Javelin and Stinger missiles as soon as possible.


Army’s Gen. Cavoli nominated to lead US and NATO forces in Europe

Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, who has led U.S. Army Europe and Africa for the past four years, will replace U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, if confirmed.


Here is an interview with a WWII veteran who was in 20 different hospitals.

My interview is with George Woodruff. We had become good friends. He is a WWII and Korean veteran. He is an American hero. Not because of what he did while in the military, but what he has done for his fellow veterans.

He is allowing me to share his name.

George Woodruff is a full time resident at Trinka Davis. Way back in his early military career he fell out of a top three tiered bunk and landed on his head. That would be the beginning of years of hospital times and many trips to the ER.


George, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit with me today. I am honored to be talking to you. Tell me about your early time in the military. When did you enlist?


August 8th, 1944.


Where did you do your Boot camp?


I did my boot camp at camp Downes, Great Lake Lakes Naval Training Center.


How was boot camp?


It was not Picnic! March… march… march, until you thought your legs would fall off. Then we had to wear a gas mask; enter a large chamber where you had to remove your gas mask. Tears ran down my face!

Boot camp was tough, but you learned to follow orders that might keep you alive when the actual shooting started. We became men during boot camp.


Where did you go after boot camp?


I was assigned to Basic Engineering School. I was temporarily transferred to the Replacement Depot. It had triple decker bunks there. I figured this was an accident waiting to happen since I was assigned the top bunk. They had no railings back then. And of course it did happen. I woke up one morning finding myself lying face down on the concrete floor. My nose was broken. I went to the aid station and the medical corpsman straightened up my nose.

I had no idea how serious my injuries from the fall actually were. I was to find this out the hard way over the many years as problems caused by the fall worsened.

I was in Army Hospitals 7 times during my service. Three of these were in Germany during the Berlin Airlift. I was in Navy Hospitals twice, once at Great Lakes for Scarlet Fever and once at Oakland Naval Hospital.
Since getting out of service I have been in VA Hospitals more than 20 times over the years.


Were there any incidents that stood out during your training?


We had a slightly overweight sailor who as not too clean. He bathed rarely. We finally grabbed him and took him to the shower. We used a stiff brush and soap and scrubbed him until his skin was red. From that day on that sailor was the cleanest guy in the barracks.


Tell me more on how your fall affected you as you went along in the service.


It was during the training period that problems from my fall began to manifest themselves. I would have periods of extreme irritability and occasional memory loss.


Did the fall cause you problems in your daily duties?


Yes, one day I was driving a forklift and blacked out. I went over the edge of a wall and crashed down onto a large diesel engine a few feet below. I was sent to Oakland Naval Hospital for evaluation and treatment. While I was in the hospital, Japan agreed to surrender on August 14th, 1945. Atom bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.


What happened to you after your hospital visit?


I was honorably discharged on September 29th, 1945. I was awarded a 100% disability.


I see you were also in the Army, how did that happen?


I met a Sergeant in Houston who happened to be a recruiter. He invited me to his office, and he had a small bar. We had a few beers. I took some tests he asked me to take. We have several more beers. When I woke up the next morning, I was on a train to Ft. Ord, California! I had somehow joined the Army in 1947! (I did my basic at Ft. Ord, Just like George did. We have a lot in common.)


George went on to be trained at the Vent Hill Farms Station near Warrenton, Virginia. He was training for the Army Security Agency. (I too was trained to be an ASA trooper.) They trained people to do be radio intercept operators, cryptologist, and radio repair technicians.


I notice you spent much of your time at many different hospitals. That must have been tough.


I was in VA hospitals over seven times during my military days and over twenty times so far after I was discharged.


Let’s talk about now. One of the things you really had a hard time with was being separated from your wife Jeannie. Share your thoughts on that.

(Jeannie began to have memory loss and needed to be sent to a special facility that cares for those problems, and George had to be in a VA facility because of his problems. They had to live in separate places.)

“When Jeanne and I could no longer live together I felt like my world had ended. After so many years of a wonderful marriage we were torn apart by our failing health. It broke my heart and took away my reason for living.”
(This is an actual quote from George in an email to me.)
George now lives at the Trinka Davis Assisted Living Facility, in Corrollton, Georgia. This is a VA facility for military only. It was started by the good graces by Trinka Davis, who donated millions to get it started. 
George is now on hospice care, and has many ailments including congestive heart failure, diabetes, hearing loss, stenosis of the spine, problems still from his head injury, and many other ailments. He still has a very positive attitude. He has been an inspiration to me, and I will never forget him. He is a true American hero.
In honor of my good friend George Woodruff, I am going share a poem he wrote in February of 2014. He told me he was extremely depressed when he wrote this poem, because he knew he would be separated from his wife Jeannie soon. 
Saga of a Disabled World War II Veteran
Time has passed me by and now I’m sick and old, nearly blind, kidneys failing, stenosis crippling my spine.
A pair of painful legs that no longer function or hold me up, a power wheelchair for this worn out old carcass of mine. 
So I guess I’ll bear this continual depression and pain. 
Until the Supreme Architect above finally takes me away. So God if you are up there somewhere listening to my prayer,
I would really appreciate it if you decide to do it today!
George Woodruff


There will be more interviews in future posts. My next one will be with a Vietnam veteran. He has some very scary situations he had to go through. Keep coming back to see more. Better yet…God tot he top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.


Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?


There are over 14,572 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.


If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


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Pain and Suffering Visit you Like long Lost Relatives


God Promises a Safe Landing,

Not a Calm Passage


Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25–26


This earth is a wonderful place to be. God has provided breath-taking beauty and the opportunity to live an abundant life.

I often look in wonder when I see the Cascade Mountains from my home in Oregon. Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters, all still covered with snow, are all in view on clear days. Every time I see them, I think of the awesome power of God, and yet I also see His fine-tuning of our earth for us to enjoy.

He wants us to love our earth and to enjoy our days, but He does not promise us a rose garden. Sometimes we have to face trials and afflictions that put us on the edge of questioning God’s love.

Suffering and pain are everywhere is this world. Why would a loving God allow this? Are we doing something wrong? Are we being punished for some sin we’ve committed? After all, He allowed millions of His own chosen people to be put through torture and death during Hitler’s time. Why would He allow all that to happen?

Pain is no stranger to me. I have faced numerous times when pain and suffering tried to control my life. Let me briefly explain some of the pain God has allowed me to have:


  1. A double ruptured hamstring with internal bleeding causing pain down my entire left leg.
  2. Double mumps as a child so bad that at one point I could hardly breathe.
  3. Apnea, so I sleep with a mask that helps me sleep more deeply.
  4. An ulcer that kept me on baby food for a month.
  5. Pneumonia that had me down for long time.
  6. Both ankles badly sprained, severely damaging tendons.
  7. Hearing loss that requires hearing aids in both ears.
  8. Throat constriction so severe that I wear a medical alert bracelet to warn doctors about putting tubes down my throat.
  9. Neck surgery to relieve severe and constant pain in my right arm.
  10. Quadruple cardiac bypass surgery.
  11.  Gall bladder surgery, prompted by severe abdominal pain.
  12.  Back surgery because my spine had narrowed (stenosis) so badly that I had numbness down both legs, including my feet.
  13.  Achilles tendon surgery.
  14.  Skin cancer surgery.
  15. The embedding of a pacemaker to keep my heart beating properly.
  16. I had a kidney stone rip through last week.
  17.  Three other minor surgeries.

Eighteen incisions—and counting. (Of course, that doesn’t include the unseen scars from my bouts of depression.) The bright side is that there aren’t too many places left to cut for surgery. (OK! I know there are many more places, but I am trying to trick the doctors who may read this.)

Pain comes knocking at my door, lets itself in and stays—sort of like relatives who say they’re just popping in for the weekend and end up staying for more than a month.

People have asked me how I have managed to stay positive during all the times of discomfort.

What they didn’t realize is that not all days have been positive. I have dealt with depression and my own doubt that God loved me during these times. I am like any other person on this earth. I understand the anxiety and depression that can set in during times of pain.

Even Paul had some hard times with trials. He talks about a “thorn in the flesh.” Perhaps it was some kind of physical ailment.


Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:8–9


I have prayed many times for all the pain to go away, but I sense God saying, “Lean on Me and you will survive.”

Another version of the Bible words the above passage, “My power works best in your weakness.” God uses those who are afflicted to help others who are in similar situations. We can relate to their pain and suffering if we have gone through it. And because of that, they will listen.


Another person may try to help, but they do not know the pain. They do not know how depressed a person gets during a time like this.

I can truthfully say to them, “I’ve been there and done that.” What a blessing that is. They’re more willing to talk freely and share their deepest feelings, and I can help them by sharing what God has done for me during similar times.

Once I tried to help a friend who was working through issues I had never faced—nothing even close. His response was that I had no idea what he was going through and to back off. He was right. All I can really do for him is continue to pray for him and be there when he wants to talk. And keep my big mouth shut until then.

The all-time winner for having pain—both physical and mental—has to be Job. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxen, 500 donkeys and many servants to take care of them. In one day:

  1. 1.      all of his oxen and donkeys were stolen and all but one of his servants caring for the animals were killed
  2. 2.      his sheep and all but one of the servants herding them were destroyed by fire
  3. 3.      all his camels were stolen and all but one of the servants tending them were killed by the marauders

“Enough,” we would say. But then a messenger came to tell him that all ten of his children had died when the house they were in collapsed in a windstorm.

Most of us would be yelling at God and wondering why He allowed all of this to happen. But in all of what had happened to Job “did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:22).

This infuriated Satan, so he asked God for permission to test Job further by afflicting him physically with “painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head” (Job 2:7). The litany of my pain that I shared in this chapter doesn’t begin to compare to what Job went through.

            Even though his wife suggested he simply curse God and die, Job responded with a question: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2: 10).

Job went through some depressing times, and even questioned God as most of us would do under similar circumstances. But in the end he never turned away from God. Because of this God gave him back much more than he had before, including children.

The key to all of this is what Job said: “Shall we receive only pleasant things from the hand of God, and never anything unpleasant?”

God is powerful. He could destroy everything in an instant. We expect Him to always protect us from harm and hardships. In the case of Job, God allowed him to be tested, and Job became even stronger in the end.

God allows us to be tested. We should look at pain, suffering and hardships as God’s way to make us stronger, like Job. Through trials, we learn to rely more on God. We sometimes move Him out of our thinking process when everything is going smoothly. So He may use pain to get our attention back on Him.

Many of those who survived concentration camps have said their faith in God became even stronger while they were going through the torture. They had only God to cling to. That was the only way they had been able to stay strong from day to day.


Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5


“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”

– M. Kathleen Casey


Further adventures

Praise God under the worst situation you are going through, and He will bless you far more than you could ever imagine. Try it and see how He puts His arms around you and holds you through the storm.


Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny how God is always there no matter what you’re going through?

* Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.