For all of you who do not know, in 1985 I was discharged from the Navy as a disabled vet. I went into the service in 1981, at the age of 19. I had enlisted for a 4 year stint. The last year of my 4 year stint, is when I was injured. The first injury took place at the gym in Keflavik, Iceland. While in Iceland the military had us log in a certain amount of hours at the gym each month. They do that because the weather is so bad that most sports must be performed inside. Many people become fat and have a hard time passing the physical therapy (or PT) tests in Iceland. So, off to the gym Alan and I went to play racket ball, a sport I used to dearly enjoy. Alan and I were about 15 minutes into playing when I hit a ball that bounced on the floor and came up between Alan’s legs and hit him in his sweet spot. If you know anything about me, you know that I laugh hysterically when someone gets hurt or when I get hurt. I was laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my face and I was bent over at the waist. I could tell right away that Alan did not find this the least bit funny, which made me laugh all the harder. When he was finally able to move again, I was still busting a gut. He sent a ball high into the air, close to the side wall. Normally these balls are easy for me to get. I simply run at the wall and kick off it to send myself high into the air. This technique would usually add a foot or two to my leap. Something I should tell you is: when I am laughing, I lose all muscle strength. If you ever want to attack me, just wait till I am laughing and I can not defend myself. So, back to the story. Alan sent the ball high and down the side of the wall. I ran at the wall and went to push off of it, but because I was laughing, I had no strength to support myself and crumpled to the floor, causing me to tear the middle two quadricept tendons off of my knee cap. And off course, because I was now in pain, I rolled around the floor laughing hysterically. Alan immediately knew that something was wrong as I had told him that you will know that I am seriously hurt if I am laughing hysterically. When I finally stopped laughing, Alan half carried me and half supported me to the emergency room. They misdiagnosed me and placed me in a cast for 1 1/2 months. During that time frame, the tendons that had torn off my knee cap, attached to the muscles and bone at the top of my leg, in my upper thigh. When I got the cast off, I knew something was wrong and tried to tell the doctors that my leg was not right. Five days later, I slipped on ice at work and tore the last two tendons off. I now had completely detached all four of my quadricept tendons. I was taken by ambulance to the military hospital and 4 hours later was taken by ambulance to an Icelandic hospital, where surgery occurred. Three days later, I was brought back to the Military hospital and remained in the hospital for the next month and a half. My leg was in a full cast up to my hip. I was given the option of a full body cast or a cast up to my hip. If I chose the cast to my hip, I would not be allowed to sit up on my own or move my leg on my own, I would have to be assisted, so as not to put any strain on the newly attached tendons. If I chose the full body cast, I would be forced to remain in bed at all times and would only be allowed to lie on my back or on my stomach and someone would have to flip me. So, of course I chose the cast to my hip. One and a half months later the cast was removed and another surgery took place to remove the wires from my knee cap. Unfortunately, my knee cap ended up off to the outer side of my knee. I went through months of rehab. My discharge date from the military was during my rehab. The military will not release you from active duty until they have stabilized you, discharged you as a disabled vet. or until you waiver all rights. So, I was involuntarily extended in the military for 7 more months, while I was sent to Bethesda, Maryland to out process as a disabled vet. After being discharged I struggled with my leg going out every few steps. I soon learned how to keep from constantly falling, but struggled with horrible crunching and pain in my knee. In 1989, I underwent a third surgery by a non military doctor to realign my knee cap and fix the joint crunching problem. He did an amazing job. The crunching noise went away and my knee stopped giving out all of the time. During the third surgery, I lost most of the feeling to my knee area from nerve damage. It has been a blessing in disguise, as I do not have to deal with constant pain. Sure, I have pain, but it is usually when I over do it, kneel on it or the weather changes. Unfortunately the knee has caused me to track wrong and over the years my hip has suffered for it. In 2010, I underwent hip surgery. I am in the process of trying to get my hip added on to my disability as a service related injury. I loved serving my country and seeing the world!