I was born in July of 1925. During my growing up days a popular expression for some one who looked like they had been very sick was, You look like you have one foot in the grave! Of course this was a metaphor back then. It wasn't until after World War II that it became a reality for me. I had t heard this expression for some time. Then in the spring of 1945 I arrived on the amputee ward at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I had lost my right leg above the knee due to wounds received during the defense of Bastogne, Belgium during the later stages of WW II. On my first experience of the doctor's morning rounds to check out his patients, I heard this at the first bed the doctor stopped at. He asked, How are you feeling? The patient answered, Not too bad considering I have one foot in the grave! This had become the standard reply by the patients on Ward 10-A. When the doctor and his assistants stopped in front of my bed, I stuck with tradition and answered, Not bad considering I have one foot in the grave! Now the expression had a double meaning for me and my fellow amputee patients at the hospital.