A Couple of Quick Anecdotes

No Tour In Vietnam

Johny Ramos, who went to the school for the deaf in St.Augustine, was inducted by mistake into the service during the Vietnam War. Since he didn’t understand that his deafness would have made him exempt, he reported for duty. Later, my friend asked him how he had passed his medical examination.

“I’m okay, physically,” Johny told him, “When I saw the man ahead of me doing something, I did the same.  When the questions came, I nodded where he had nodded and shook my head where he had.”

“What about the hearing test?”

“I looked at the examiner’s eyes. His pupils contracted when he heard the sound, I was supposed to hear.  Then, I raised my hand.”

“What about your training?”

“I just followed whatever I saw going on around me.  When the guy in front of me got up, I got up.  When he threw  up, I threw up. Marching, sleeping, pissing, I just followed along.”

Johny was on the train to the airport to take him to his deployment, when his parents finally rang the bell on him.

Not Invited To The Riot


College kids were rioting in  those days, so the kids at Gallaudet, the world’s only college for the deaf, decided they needed to be part of what was going on.  Gallaudet is in Washington, D. C. the political heart of the country.  Why shouldn’t they be out there with those other students?

When they saw the students running and carrying signs, they followed along.  Two deaf students, somehow got separated from the group and missed the arrival of the police.  Someone threw a Molotov cocktail from a roof. The police thought the deaf students did it.

Came the words: “Stop or I’ll shoot!”

This was to happen over the years more than a few times, two of which were done by private individuals when they thought deaf people were trespassing. How much more dangerous is it for deaf people in prison, where a guard’s order is not immediately carried out?

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