I have been suffering from a herniated lumbar disc for the past 6 months or so. It was brought on by years of mistreating my back. Having been a firefighter, patrol officer, and now an arson investigator is not something that is easy on the joints. The word suffering doesn't come close to describing the pain either. We all have our crosses to bear. This is mine.
Soldiering in any era is a difficult and demanding task. I've been wondering about how their service effected soldiers in the post Civil War era. How many of them spent a lifetime in pain brought on by long marches, carrying heavy loads, and sleeping outdoors in all sorts of weather. Today at least, we know ways that we can ease the pain associated with these conditions either through medication or exercise. Back then there wasn't a whole lot they could do. I can recall one particular line from the tune "Good Old Rebel" which states "I caught the rheumatism a-camping in the snow." I could not imagine dealing with what I am in a world that did not have NSAIDs and sleep aids. But our ancestors did just that.
So on this Memorial Day Weekend, let us not only remember those Civil War soldiers who gave their lives in combat, but also those who spent the rest of their lives in pain, both physical and mental, because of their service.
My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict.