The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Swine flu... 1976

With all this hype about the "Swine Flu" it has brought back a story to mind. When I was at Great Lakes, a fellow First Class Gunner's Mate made Chief. He had had vale replacement surgery. That's right, in 1976, when all this open heart surgery was new, the Navy doctors replaced a valve in his heart with a "Pig's" heart valve. At his time, Chief's initiation was far more demanding than it is today. Far more "Trust" was required from the Prospective Chief than today. I am not saying what we did was better, I am saying it was far more wide open. One of the Prospective Chief's "Charges" was being the culprit who caused "Swine Flu" and made it so all of the "Real Chiefs" would have to get a vaccination!! In any case, the Cardiologist was worried that all of the festivities would ruin his good work. So, the Cardiologist volunteered to go through "Initiation" WITH the new Chief. Since I was not a Chief at that time, I don't know how it went,, but both survived and the Chief went on to complete his career.

I asked the Chief later, if they would have to replace the "Pig" valves. He said "Yes, every ten years or so." I told him they should have used Velcro to close him.

Swine flu is not new, a Chief Gunner's Mate started it!!

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