Research Assistants Unite

This morning, for the first time in a week, like the sun rising after a long winter storm, the shape of my kneecap began to rise from the formerly amorphous grapefruit that had become my knee (thank you all for your medical advice and health-wise haranguing). Since I could finally hobble down the stairs and into the car with only a minimum of scene-making, Alex enticed me into a public outing by dangling – no, not the Pancake House. Not the Irish pub. Not the smell of fresh air and the warm sun on my face. But – a trip to the book store. With Libba Bray’s recent release of the third and final installment in her Gemma Doyle trilogy and only two punches away from a free book on my Tattered Cover frequent children’s book-buying card, how could I resist?
Fed, read, and coffeed, I returned home to start on my own work in progress, and here’s where I need your help. Several of my minions have already donated graciously of their expertise in various yet seemingly unrelated subjects (thank you, thank you!), but the more I write, the less I know. I mean, yesterday’s Vietnam grandparent meltdown is a good example. So here are a few more questions I need help with. Jump in any time.
  1.  When American soldiers stationed in Vietnam sent letters home, was the postmark Vietnamese, like from Saigon, or was their some military postmark involved? How long did it take to arrive from Vietnam to its destination in the States?
  2. When someone donates bone marrow, where does the needle go? Is it in the hip? How long does it take? 
  3. How do they match you as a marrow donor? Do you have to donate the marrow first, or can they do a blood test ahead of time to determine the match?
  4. If a zombie and a vampire got into a fight, and an alien arrived on the scene, who would the alien side with, who would win, who would leave the most blood, and where would they bury the survivors? (Honey, I’m looking to you…)
Thanks, all. And hey – Happy New Year!

6 thoughts on “Research Assistants Unite

  1. 1. The military uses FPO (Fleet Post Office) and APO (Army/Air Force Post Office) addresses. These are run by the US post office. So when I was stationed in England and in Germany, my address was P.O. Box 666, APO New York AE 66666. AE stood for — Armed Forces Europe. Mail that went to the Pacific theater, like in Vietnam would have gone to APO San Francisco AP 12345 (AP is Armed Forces Pacific). People writing to military members overseas just use US postage to the stateside APO/FPO and then it’s sent by Military Air to the theater. Same thing for people sending mail from overseas. They mail it with US postage from the on base post office. I’m very old, but I’ll check with my very, very old uncle, who was in the Navy in 66-68 and make sure it was the same operation then. I’m sure it was.

    I’m also registered with the National Bone Marrow registry/thingie. They only draw blood to register you. I was actually called a year ago as a potential match for someone and I had to go to a lab and give another blood sample for further tests (they found a better match than me, so I didn’t get to donate). I’ll see if I can find the package they sent me because I think it describes a couple of different methods they can use for marrow extraction/donation. The recipient’s doctor decides which method to use. I also had a bone marrow aspirate for a test and they took it from my hip. When I talked to the bone marrow registry lady I seem to remember that they said they don’t take it the same way for a donation.

    I think the Vampire wins and therefore, there is no blood to clean up.

    I am so old.

  2. These answers all come from my dad.
    1. AFO postmark with a code
    2. May be in the hip can be in other places too takes a few minutes and is extraordinarily painful.
    3. Blood test
    4. The alien would side with me, they always side with me.

    My dad says he is “pretty sure” about these answers, so continues the saga of the parenting effect on my life.

  3. The alien wouldn’t side with either of them. He’d stun them both, anal probe them and then leave them to annihilate each other when they wake up. But actually when they wake, they’d feel the bruising in their nether-regions, decide they like it and then fall in love.

    Zombies don’t have blood, silly. They drain ’em before they wrap em up. And you wouldn’t bury any SURVIVORS! They’re the undead!

  4. Aha — according to Wiki (see military postal service) the system changed in 1980, my answer is probably not accurate. We need a really old Vietnam era guy to confirm. I’ll check with that uncle and maybe in the mean time, one of those grandpas will come forward 🙂

  5. Letters can also be sent home when on R and R Rest and Recreation. Soldiers are sent on mini=vacations somewhere out of combat, but close by like parts of China, Thailand, etc. Those letters would be post marked from where ever they were visiting. From what Ive heard RandR was a good time to get stoned or catch a disease. My own personal side note: I always thought R and R was cruel. I mean how could you back to combat after a vacation? Personally I think I’d rather just fight straight through.

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