At the end of WWII, I spent two weeks in a Naval Hospital with pneumonia complicated by malaria. The head nurse, Lt. Helen Heffentrager, must have been jilted by a Marine because anyone who wore our dogtags became the object of her irritation. Every morning she would scream, "Get up out of that sack you lazy, (bleeping), good for nothing Jarhead, and swab the deck." She was a foul-mouthed, red-headed hellion.
I remember a Navy Dentist who wouldn't give me Novocain. He said, "Marines are supposed to be tough." Probably these events are the reasons I chose a civilian doctor and hospital in Philadelphia rather than use the "free" government health care when my wife was expecting our first child. I was in the Marine Corps when she was expecting our second son in 1951, and I chose a civilian doctor and St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis.
Sidebar: Elizabeth had a Cesarean Section and a private room at Episcopal Hospital in Philly for seven days. The total cost for the hospital room, operating room, surgeon and doctor for pre-natal and post-natal care was $402.00. The hospital used four pints of blood in the surgery and we were not charged for it. They just asked us to donate eight pints to their blood bank and my Marine buddies took care of that. BTW... Navy Corpsmen were exceptional.
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