Saturday, February 18, 2006

Picture This

I wish I had more photos of my job in the Navy…I do have a lot of old Polaroid’s of places I traveled to while I was in the Navy. But those are mostly images of Washington, DC, the closest “big city” to Camp Lejeune; and the place we went on any long weekend. And you have already seen more images of the Lincoln Memorial than you can count…you don’t need to see mine.

OK, back to the story...After a few weeks on the locked ward, it was all routine. Once a week we would gather up all of the patients and take them out to the exercise yard while we tore the ward apart, looking for contraband. It was amazing, but the patients were really good at concealing forbidden items. At every meal, we counted the silverware entering and counted it again as it left on the food service carts. Yet, we would always find one or two pieces hidden in the frame of a bed. It was the same with razors. We handed out lockable razors every morning and took them back, checking them off a list as we did so. And we found razors hidden. And lots of pills. At medication time, we tried to ensure that the patient actually swallowed his Thorazine or Sparine. And the bed frames always gave up a stash or two of the drugs.

And embarrassing…once we lost two patients. They waited around the food service cart until they had a chance to slip into the cart itself. Another patient closed the door on the cart and concealed them. The cart was wheeled off of the ward and into the mess hall galley for cleaning. That was where the two stepped out and caused a panic among the civilian workers. The two patients didn’t try to go any further; they explained that they had done it just to see if they could…

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