Thursday, January 1, 2009

And a New Story for a New Year

Another car bit the dust yesterday in an accident which was both nasty and nice all at the same time. No one was seriously injured, so that was fantastic, but my car was totalled to the point where I'm not even sure it's worth repairing. It would have been a really terrible day, but I heard the most fantastic story from one of the MPs on the scene, and it was so great, I thought I'd share it with you.

The MP and I were chatting while we waited, and he mentioned something about being an NCO. Well, my eyes were fairly sharp when corrected, and I noted the specialist rank he was wearing on his uniform. We'd been talking for long enough that I felt it would be okay to ask, "So what'd you get busted down for?"

He gave a bit of a sheepish grin, then laughed a bitter laugh. "My dog bit someone he wasn't supposed to."

Maybe it's my ignorance about how precisely canine units work that made me ask, "A prisoner?" We'd already talked about his four deployments, and I could see something like that. A situation with intense emotions, a dog picking up on them and doing something he shouldn't. A dog that lives and loves as his handler lives and loves.

But no. He said, "My dog bit someone nobody but the President's allowed to touch."

Of course I questioned him. That was way too good an opening to let go. "Someone you didn't like?"

Another bitter smile. "My dog bit Donald Rumsfeld pretty good." Another pause, another beat. "In front of the sergeant major of the Army and four generals."

Obviously, I don't know the truth of the story. I won't swear to it, only that I heard it from a man who claimed it was his, and I doubt he'd a reason to lie, to me of all people. He had no idea what my views on the war or Rumsfeld were. I hadn't mentioned him. The only hint he had was my tattoo with the helmet and rifle and the Ishtar Gate-but it's a little subtle on first glance to really tell the story of all of my thoughts and ideas. He didn't know who I was. And it has the ring of the unlikely truth.

I believe the soldier. I believe in a soldier, full of resentment for a man he felt was responsible, whose dog picked up on it and did something it shouldn't. I believe in a man busted down because he couldn't control his emotions, with a dog that he was utterly responsible for every move of.

And I feel for him.

So there's the story. Was it worth the thousands of dollars to my car? Maybe not. But did it make things better than they would have been otherwise? Definitely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The dog should've gotten a medal.