was in an Italian Red Cross refugee camp after the 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fight. One of the quarter million Hungarians escaping to the West after the brutal Soviet oppression that followed our 2 weeks of freedom, I was awaiting my fate. Which country will take me and when? One day the US Army came to the camp to recruit young men.If accepted, it meant immediate air lift to California, language/army training, and in 5 years US citizenship, perhaps a trade, or officers' school. DREAMS for any one of us then.
I have so wanted to be accepted, but I failed even a cursory medical due to the only one kidney I had.
The medical officer sat down with me for a few minutes and embraced me, as I was inconsolable. Most of my young friends were leaving within days to the land of our dreams.
I did not understand a single word of empathy from this medical officer, but his warmth and encouragement were un-mistakable:I will get to the US some day....