I have created this blog to hopefully inspire average, everyday Americans to do their part in supporting our troops by being “An American Worth Dying For.” If you are new to the site, please read oldest to newest.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Goodbye and Hello-Lady and Duke

I said goodbye to my beloved Lady on November 13, 2009.

Goodbyes are never easy, especially when you know they aren't coming back. Especially when they are part of your family. Especially when you've gone through battle with them.

I must confess that as I lay on the ground next to my dead warrior, I wanted to quit. Together, Lady and I had walked through the battleground of death so many times. But we had each other's back so I had no fear. How could I face it without my Lady?

I asked myself, "What is God trying to tell me?" The month before my truck had died, now Lady. "That's 2/3 of my business, God." "Take me out of the picture and we've got nothing."

I cried all night. I buried Lady the next morning. I cried all day. I didn't want to go on. I had to tell the family of a fallen warrior that we couldn't carry their hero home. My heart was broke. Maybe it was time to hang it up. I'd done my tour. There would be no shame in calling it quits.

Then in the middle of my pity party another thought came to mind. What about the warriors at battle in faraway lands? They watch their brothers fall and they can't stop the battle to grieve. Why should I be afforded that luxury?

So with the support of my family, friends and the Patriot Guard Riders, I picked myself up. There had to be a reason Lady left. Maybe an accident awaited me had I gone to that soldier's funeral. Maybe Lady knew the only thing that would keep me from a funeral was losing her. Who knows, but I did realize I needed to come back and be better and stronger than before.

My friends and community rallied behind me. A dinner was held in Lady's honor. I found a great deal on a new (to me) truck. Funds were raised to purchase a new horse. Word was received of a beautiful black Percheron in Indiana. A deal was struck and he would arrive in Denver on April 15th.

It's a bit scary buying a horse sight unseen. You see, you don't pick a horse, the horse picks you. Needless to say I was a bit nervous when I first met "Duke". But it was love at first sight, at least on my part. Three weeks later, I think Duke and I have bonded. I hope so, as tomorrow he will be called upon to carry SGT Grant Wichmann home.

So tonite, as I say goodbye to Lady again. I am comforted knowing she is grazing in the pastures of heaven with our Mike. And I know someday my hands will be on the lines and we will be a team again.

And in the morning I will say, "Hello Duke, step up, we have to take a young sergeant home."

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