Million-dollar wound

Posted by ESC on March 28, 2000

In Reply to: Million dollar wound posted by Steven Raughton on March 27, 2000

: : : Can anyone tell me what the old saying,"million-dollar wound," means?
: : It is a military phrase:
: : A million dollar wound is one that doesn't tear you apart but it takes you out of action for a few months and as a result may save your life. Bottom line. It gives you a brief and welcome respite from the horrors of war.
: :I understand that it is a military phrase,but why million-dollar? Why not hundred-dollar,or thousand-dollar?

I found the expression in a couple of reference books but none gave any explanation for why $1 million. Remember this was back when a $1 million represented some real money. (Smile.) What value would a soldier place on his own life -- not just a thousand or a hundred. It had to be a million.

"million-dollar wound -- An expression used by American troops in World War II to describe a wound serious enough to take them out of combat and back home. Other troops used variations on the same expression. The German word for million-dollar wound was 'Heimatschuss.'" From the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson, Facts on File, New York, 1997.