On Christmas sixty-nine years ago my late father, Felix A. Cizewski, was in an Army hospital in Paris with severe cold injuries, probably frostbite, to his hands and feet.
He was in a the Open Wire Repair Section of an Army Service Forces Signal Corps company based in Paris.
That meant he was working outside during one of Europe’s harshest winters in decades.
At night a captured German doctor working in the American hospital massaged Felix’s hands and feet with a salve. Eventually Dad healed enough to avoid amputations and return to duty.
He was sent to a Replacement Depot then assigned to the Thunderbirds’ 45th Signal Company for the rest of the war.
Dad suffered for the rest of his life with what may have been Raynaud’s Syndrome. Every winter his circulation would mostly shut down in his hands and his hands would be very pale and cold.
My father obviously suffered lifelong disability from his cold injuries. Along with the effects of tuberculosis he may have contracted while in the Army and the traumatic effects of arriving at Dachau about one day after its liberation and possibly helping to care for the survivors while stationed on occupation near Dachau, my late father may have been an
unrecognized and uncompensated disabled veteran.
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