Have you seen the commercial about combat ear protection failures? Surely you have, but if not, here’s a little background. From 2003 to 2015 3M apparently provided faulty combat ear protection to the military. I’m thinking, OK, if that’s true then vets deserve compensation. Once that thought is gone my brain takes me back to 1965 when I was sleeping one deck below the aft 5″/38 Caliber deck gun on a vintage Navy destroyer. I was part of the ship’s crew on DD-808.
A little research will reveal that 1965 was near the beginning of our Navy’s involvement in the Viet Nam war. I do not know if my fellow military vets who were assigned duty “in country” were offered combat ear protection but I’m confident that all of them were subjected to a lot of noise from weapons of various types. I do know for sure that no ear protection was supplied to me or my shipmates on DD-808. Sleeping off a mid-watch while the gunners shot that gun above my head, continuously throughout the day, was difficult. This happened for months on end during our participation in that war. Those deck guns were incredibly loud and shook the entire ship when fired. Anyone on a destroyer during that time will know what I’m talking about. Exciting stuff for an 18-year-old.
Now, in my late 70’s, tinnitus is my constant companion. I can’t say for certain the noise to which I was subjected back in my Navy Days is the cause of this ailment, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t help.