Perhaps you have heard of the Fabulous 6500 acre Resort located in White Sulpher Springs West Virginia. Called THE GREENBRIER. This resort was purchased by the Government in 1942 for 3 Million Dollars. It was converted into an Army Hospital and renamed THE ASHFORD GENERAL HOSPITAL-Under the command of Colonel Beck. Chief of Staff.
Many combat weary casualties from the North African Campaign were sent there to recouperate. Many were Amputees. The Government wanted to display their appreciation for what these men had endured. All of the personnel of the resort were retained in their positions. The French Chefs and Waitresses, dressed in Classic French Uniforms.e.g. Black Tutus (Two-Twos) Main Dining Room was the Ritziest "Mess Hall" the world had ever seen or ever will see. Even the Menus were retained. Food was served as if the Crowned Heads of the World were still dining as they had before the war. While I was there the entire cast of Oklahoma also visited the Greenbriar.
That prologue will serve to explain my part in this picture
In March 1944 I developed a vascular involvement in my left thigh and was sent to the England General Hospital in Atlantic City, NJ for treatment. After Two weeks of examinations it was determined that this Life threatening condition was inoperable.
I was told I would be sent to another hospital. They didn't say where. At this point, I should point out that in all of my experience in the Army and The CCCs -- the only mode of conveyance was Troop Carriers of one sort or another. Trucks Jeeps Ambulance as Driver. You can understand how I felt when I was driven to the Railroad Station in Atlantic City and Handed my packet of Orders. I Boarded the Famous C&O George Washington Pullman Train. The (Red Cap) Porter escorted me to my State Room and unfolded the "Birth" (Bunk) I was to sleep in. Then brought a snack prior to retiring. The Porter awakened me and told me we would be at my destination in 20 minutes. We pulled into the Depot (I had no Idea where I was) I went into the station and sat on a Bench to wait for a Jeep. Across the room was an Army Chauffeur Dressed in the uniform reserved for Generals. After a few minutes he walked over and said are you Private Braun? I replied Yes He said follow me. He took me out to a Staff car and put my bag in the trunk. We drove up this long driveway. When two Doormen were waiting to open the Car Door carry my Bag as we walked down the long marble Hall flanked with potted palm trees.
Three days later, Colonel Beck explained that my Left Leg had to be Amputated and handed me a waiver to sign. I turned down the offer. He said you wont live to see 35. I said well I'll take my leg with me when I go. A number of days later I was given an Honorable Discharge. I Still have my Leg and have outlived all of them.
-- Ed Braun
Biography of Ed Braun with links to other stories
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