Mayo Clinic began because of a military connection and our commitment to servicemen and women has never faltered. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, we salute the many Mayo Clinic staff members and patients who are veterans, helping to protect our freedoms. It is in their honor that we share this story about a Florida man’s long journey to healing.
Eventually, something’s gonna kill you. It’s just life. What we usually don’t know is if what that something will be. A car accident? Cancer? It could be a falling coconut. Some suffer. Others go quickly. Some see their end coming. Many don’t.
As we think about the meaning of Veteran’s Day, we salute our heroes who fought wars at home and abroad – who most likely thought about their mortality and wondering if they will make it to their next birthday. Dodging bullets is a way of life, literally for these men and women.
“It was always in the back of your mind,” recalls Jacksonville, Fla., resident and Mayo Clinic volunteer Stanley Rozycki, a WWII Polish Army veteran. Rozycki, who was born in 1927, spent three years in the Underground Army as well as four years in the Polish Army under British command. But he also had the misfortune of being a prisoner of war and spent nine months in three different German POW camps. He often wondered if he’d make it to 84.