An interview with a veteran

May 18, 2010

Can you start by telling us your name?  Jack Paul Crooks

And how old are you? 75

Can you tell us a little bit about what you did in World War 2? Yeah I drove an ambulance around Germany and tried to fit enough of people into a matchbox to send home to mother or to sow thingsback on or into them.

What was BASIC training like? What wasnt it like I trained over in Ft Jackson or ‘the frying pan’ as they called it and it was more like Hell than Hell itself. 100 degrees plus humidity 60 pounds of gear miles of running and not as much babying as this century gets, yeah id say we had it pretty F***ing rough.

What made you join? Well everyone joined at that time and you were a coward if you didn’t plus i needed something to help me through college to.

What was it like in Germany? Well it was different, i had learned to speak German so i was set but the scenery there was beyond beautiful if you didn’t count the war torn ground and the burning or bombed out villages. Another thing was it was always freezing in Germany and let me tell you my ambulance got in trouble a number of times for making the thing spin in the mud and ice but it was really fun to do if you didnt have anything to do.

So what was the most common thing to see as an ambulance driver? Well the most  injurys were either gunshot or shrapnel wound although the most common thing was we had to operate a lot on infections because if you get a scratch and slog through miles of mud it is never really beneficial, especially with all the chemicals and metal and blood.

What was the most common thing to die from over in Germany? Well besides gunshots the most common thing was sickness because here you are in a foriegn place and your immune system is adapted to another enviroment entirely and add all the stressors, yes a lot of good people died from simple colds or the flu.

The most uncommon? The FUBAR ( F”d up beyond any recognition) cases. If someone got to close to a grenade or survived a tank or mine blast (shivers) well we would have to patch them up and some resembled ground beef more than a human. the worst one was this guy that had a grenade go off in front of him…pretty much anything from the stomach down was hanging out of this kid, he survived 8 hours of surgery only to get his head blown clean off by a sniper 6 months later.

Was there anything else? STD’s beleive it or not When we liberated France the boys went and celebrated and let me tell you i never want to hear the words ‘the clap’ or ‘ghonereah’ again.

Well thank you for your time and we greatly appreciate your story.

 -Edited by Cory Goff-

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