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Stanley’s Blood Pressure

Posted by on August 11, 2014

June 10, 1943. Stanley writes a brief page and a half letter to Dad. He is settling in at Geiger Field while Dad has been settling in at Topeka.  Stanley has been keeping track of their movements and writes, “That is your 5th place where you are since you are in the Army. This place is my 7th place.” On average, that’s about one move per month and the pace will continue as he writes, “We will stay here only about a month then go perhaps to Great Falls, Montana for a few months.”

Stanley also passes along the news that they have started their “rugged physical exam”. It looks like Stanley has an issue with his blood pressure, even after multiple tries at getting a good reading. “They took my blood pressure yesterday two or three times and told me to come there today for a recheck. I went there this morning the Captain took my blood pressure and told me to come back in the afternoon. So I did and now they want me to come back tomorrow. One fellow who works in the medical office said he went about 5 or 6 times before they passed him. Somebody said that if you do not pass it you don’t go over.”

He follows up with an indication that this has been an ongoing problem for him. His enlistment record show that he was 5’6” and weighed 138 lbs. For a fit 21 year old man you would think the army would be alarmed by this. Even so, “The Captain said if I don’t get my blood pressure down legally, I’ll get it down somehow just to pass you off. I knew they would catch up with me. When I was inducted into the Army they took my blood pressure and had the same trouble. I get excited awfully quick especially when I get into a doctors office and then the blood pressure goes up fast. Well a day or so will prove what happens.”

He goes on to detail a few things about living at Geiger Field. The barracks are “a two story affair” and he is on the first floor. They also have “a lot of hot water…not like back at Ephrata” thanks to the oil fired boilers.  He also notes that both he and his brother “are located near a big city for a change”.

As far as his office duties, he continues to work on payrolls and other clerical responsibilities having “just finished typing some Per Diems in triplicate for a few officers and enlisted men. Tomorrow I hope to start on a few payrolls”  

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