I'm going to do an abreviated reenactment of a scenario that took place for me this weekend at my National Guard duty. My intent was to pursue medical care for an injury I had sustained at Special Forces Selection, and this is a condensed version of how well that went. All names have been chaged to protect the innocent. Non vocalized thoughts are in italics.
Me: "Hey Sergeant, I hurt myself. Can I see a doctor?" (This may or may not be "exactly" the correct wording of the conversations that took place...)
Med. Sgt (Medical Sergeant): "Well, let's have you go ahead and do some push-ups, sit-ups, and the two mile run, then we'll go see the doc."
Me: "Uhh, are you serious?" He can't be serious.
Med. Sgt. : "Well, maybe not the push-ups".
Me: "Sure, you betcha" Oh that's much better...
One hour later, funniest thing, it hurts worse.
Me: "Can I see a doctor now?" Does he know what 'doctor' means?
Med. Sgt.: "Yeah, go to room 101 and see CPT. (Captain) X."
Me: "Yeah, roger that". Oh, I'm sure he'll be there.
10 minutes later, after finding room 101, funniest thing, he's not there. So our hero walks back to see the Med. Sgt.
Me: "He wasn't there". He probably doesn't exist.
Med. Sgt: "Well then just wait and try again later."
Me: "Roger that." Oh boy waiting! That's where I'm a viking!
One hour later, I convince the Med. Sgt. to try and track this mysterious CPT. X down with me, which, amazingly enough, we do.
CPT. X.: "Where does it hurt?"
Me: "Here". My brain. I'm having so much fun I can't stand it.
CPT. X. : "Well, it looks like you have got some serious damage that needs to be further evaluated." I have no idea what's wrong with this guy.
Me: "Ok, sir." Really? You're a genius. This guy has no idea what's wrong with me.
CPT. X. : "So you are going to have to fill out form numbers 347 through 695 so that we can establish that you did this on active duty, and get you treatment." Sucks to be him.
Me: "No problem, sir." Sucks to be me. Because, obviously, I am the first guy EVER to get hurt doing something like this, so I can see why this is so complicated.
Our hero then proceeds to gather up the needed signatures on his stack of paper work throughout the Company and submit it to anyone and everyone that seems important enough to make things happen. Unfortunately, there is actually only one guy that makes this all come together and, believe it or not, he is swamped with other work. We shall call him "SFC (Sergeant First Class) M". SFC. M. makes the wheels spin on all ends, and gets things done. Thankfully, because without him, I may still be sitting outside an office door, holding a stack of paper work, rocking back and forth in the fetal position and sucking my thumb. At any rate, SFC. M. has the ball rolling, and is doing the job of ten men (while ten other men sit around reading beat up copies of Easy Rider and looking at you like you are some kind of circus freak when you ask them for any kind of assistance). So, we shall see how well this all pans out for our hero. Will he get treatment? Will he get the shaft? Will he end up selling slushies at the local 7/11? Only time (and luck) will tell.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is your National Guard at it's best. And if all of this seems completely normal to you, then you could probably earn yourself a fairly high ranking position directing younger, less informed tools into combat. You gotta love it. You really do.