Mary E. RogersJohn N. Baldwin
JOURNEY TO VIETNAM AND BACK
Dear Sirs and Ladies
Dennis HainesI am passing this work on to you who have served in war, waited for loved ones to return, nursed the wounded, are the doctors, folks who work for veterans’ rights and services, kids of soldiers and great friends who know how I care about my patients, forever.
This video is by Mary Rogers for her beloved Dennis Haines… a handsome young man from Pennsylvania who arrived in Vietnam Nam in 1968.
On December 6, 1968 Dennis was shot twice in the right side of his brain with an AK47 and was not expected to live. So, wounded and left for dead when all neurosurgeons at the 24th Evacuation Hospital were busy with salvageable people, I got him.
He not only lived, thanks to nurses and rehabilitation, but went on to become Director of Buildings and Construction at Pennsylvania Medical Center in Hershey PA., making a career using one hand (the left side of his body was paralyzed) to draw plans and coordinates – and this despite being unable to see out of one side of both eyes (which also precludes him from holding a driver’s license) and contracting Hepatitis C from our 20+ blood transfusions.
When people tell you Viet Nam Vets were druggies and bums, remember Dennis Haines… a real Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor holder, recipient the Images of Bravery Award from VVA of California, and who loves NASCAR, the Wall, 199th Infantry, and the USA.
These pictures show Dennis, but you may not recognize a 34 year old JNB wearing helmet and flak vest, but you will know me as I am now, with Dennis, at the Los Angeles ceremony for Images. Not once in my lifetime have I ever heard him complain that he is paralyzed or may die from the Hepatitis C, nor that he can only ride in race cars.
Next time you read about “40 wounded” remember… wounding is often worse than death. But Dennis Haines never considered death, or even suicide….he had plans and ambitions. And this video, which is STILL UNFINISHED, will show you that.
You will note that he is a “babe magnet”… in some of the later pictures you will see (for those who served “in-country”) Bobbie the Weather Girl from US Army TV Saigon, and Nancy Sinatra who awarded him his Bronze Star last year in Washington, DC. Enjoy this short tribute to but one of the MANY who served, who came back and who ask nothing but your respect…
John N. Baldwin, MD: September 11, 2007