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Mr. Ed

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· February is 'National Spay/Neuter Awareness' Month

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· Another Lesson From A Dog

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  A Tale of Two Soldiers
by Mr. Ed
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Mr. Ed
•  Another Lesson From A Dog
•  Just Nature
•  It's Poppy Time Once More
•  Please Don't Worry So Much, H.P.
•  Meatloaf Matlack
           >> View all 1,519


“With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.

His presence by my side is protection

Against my fears of dark and unknown things.

He has promised to wait for me…

Whenever... wherever - in case I need him.

And I expect I will - as I always have.

He is my partner,

He is my dog."


Gene Hill


They trained together for three years

In Pakistan they lived together in a tent

The bond that formed between them grew

They were together everywhere they went


In June they were once again deployed

They arrived side by side in our war in Iraq

They worked as a team hunting for explosives

Both night and day covering each other’s back


Then one very terrible and tragic afternoon

A roadside bomb exploded under their Humvee

The heroic female soldier was critically injured

Passing out in pain “Where’s Rex?” was her plea


The medics said her loyal comrade had died

For weeks after this soldier was truly forlorn

But Rex the Dog had also managed to survive

And one day soon their friendship was re-born


One of these soldiers plans to leave the military

And her dream now is to become an animal vet

She also hopes that her partner can accompany her

That he too can now retire and now become her pet


But our military has always had very severe rules

They keep telling her that Rex is military property

They keep telling her that her best friend in the world

Must serve another five-ten years before he can be free


As bizarre as it seems to very many of us

Including very many veterans such as me

It will now literally take an act of Congress

For these soldiers to stay together – as they should be



"He's my best friend," Air Force Tech Sergeant Jamie Dana recently said. "I thought he was dead, and I was almost dead, and that made the feeling to be with him much stronger."


When that roadside bomb exploded under their vehicle, Sgt. Dana’s lungs collapsed, her spine fractured, and her pelvis was broken.  But the only thing that mattered to her was the welfare of her partner.


For the time being, Sgt. Dana’s brave partner Rex is with her on convalescent leave, and will soon return with her to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, where they are now both stationed.


But under Title 10, U.S. Code 2583, the Air Force says it cannot allow this severely wounded soldier to take her combat partner home with her until this dog is too old to be of further use to them. Rex is now only 5 years old, not nearly the military property retirement age of 10 to 14 years.


The Air Force has already turned down her request to release Rex from active military duty twice.  Adopting Rex, military officials say, would not be "a legal or advisable use of an Air Force asset, in spite of the sentimental value and potential healing effects this might produce."


In Congress, several lawmakers have now taken up her cause, including Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who is working on a bill that would allow Dana to adopt Rex.  Murtha’s measure is expected to emerge from a conference committee by the middle of next month, and it must face votes in both houses.


"This young lady came as close to death as you can come and still be alive," said Rep. John E. Peterson (R-Pa.), who is also working on her behalf. "She was extremely seriously wounded . . . and I think a person who came that close to death deserves to have the dog who went through it with her. . . . I think that's the least we can do for her."


"I'm waiting to see what happens," Sgt. Dana said. “It’s hard to count on these legislative efforts, "until I have it in writing that Rex is mine."


Perhaps you might find it in your heart to contact your own legislators on behalf of these two brave wounded combat veterans, who also happen to be the best of friends.



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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 12/22/2005
hopefully Rex will not be abandoned by those who now will not allow him to go home with Sgt Dana
Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader) 12/22/2005
Heartwarming to a point.
Then red tape lunacy takes over. The country is free? after all!!
Reviewed by Sherry Heim 12/21/2005
I received an e-mail this morning asking me to sign a petition on behalf of Sgt Dana and Rex. I honestly don't know if it will get to anyone by my placing my name on the list, but I did it anyway. I know that it is very expensive to train these animals and in fact, they are regarded like GIs. If Rex were a human, he would be required to serve out the rest of his term before he could leave to be with his best friend. I also suspect that the problem is not with this particular dog, but in setting a president that would/could result in the loss of these highly skilled "canine soldiers" in the future. I think there will be a whole lot of red-tape to cut through before a final answer will be delivered.
Take care,
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 12/21/2005
Powerful stuff from your compassionate pen, Angel Eddie; very well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :(

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all your animal friends! God bless you!~
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/21/2005
A powerful telling, Ed. They trained together, warred together, and survived injuries together; each drawing on the strength the other provides. Yes, let the soldier have her dog. I will be writing my legislators. Thank you for caring enough to write the very best. :)

(((HUGS))), love and Merry Christmas,

Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 12/21/2005
Most heatbreaking story!!

Thanks for sharing Ed!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Dale Clark 12/21/2005
Yes I say let the lady have her dog. They don't
say man's best friend lightly. A moving tale Ed!
Reviewed by Aberjhani 12/21/2005
Love this exceptionally humane and compassionate write for the way it illustrates how even in the midst of war and daily insanity, human beings manage to hold on to spiritual grace in the form of love, loyalty and friendship. Being former Air Force, I can tell you that the military is not insensitive to Sgt. Dana's request but the fact is they view Rex as something like an enlisted airman who is still on duty just like any other airman whose term of service has not yet expired. It's something as if she had fallen in love with a fellow airman who was still on active duty after her separation from the military; he wouldn't be released from active duty just because they were in love. I do pray for a viable solution for all involved and I thank you for the gift of this heartfelt poem.
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 12/21/2005
I too will write to the powers that be...
a touching, beautiful write Ed... and peace
Reviewed by E T Waldron 12/21/2005
I will write my congress-people and keep the situation in prayer. I think they should bend the rules in this instance the dog was almost dead,anyway and though it is unusual to bend the rules in the military, I don't think others would take advantage of it if they allowed her this request.Another tear jerker Ed, my eyes are getting used to your poems of late, they just automatically mist up;-)Thanks for making us aware of the situation.

tiger lily
Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero 12/21/2005
You're story brought tears to my eyes. Police officers who work with canine units, often adopt them. Why not a soldier. And on the other hand, it seems to me these animals who are by nature loyal and are being trained to face death, and do so without a shread of fear, are being abused when treated like a weapon with a 10 year guarantee.

Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 12/21/2005
Heartbreaking story. I am a dog lover, but I also understand rules and regulations. Sometimes these rules and regulations can seem cruel and somethimes maybe they are, but without the rigidity of rules, especially in the military, the whole system would soon collapse. I know you will say what could it hurt for these two soldiers be together. Nothing, if that was as far as it went, but knowing human nature, it would not be.
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 12/21/2005
I recall the old contradiction of terms that speaks of "military intelligence" and have to use it herein...I wish both "soldiers" peace...Ed & Rufuz
Reviewed by William Bonilla 12/21/2005
Ed This is truly a sad story
thanks for sharing I hope that Sgt Dana
will someday be reunited with her partner/
best friend.

Merry Christmas
Reviewed by George Carroll 12/21/2005
Sometimes the military mind operates without a heart and this is a case that shows no compassion for a wounded vet and her wartime companion in which a strong bond has been made. They will give her a medal for valor but deprive her of what she wants most, her trusted friend Rex.
Reviewed by Peter Paton 12/21/2005
I would say prayer is the only answer to this heartrending and perplexing dilemma Ed
Selfless prayer is the gateway to God's heart....
I will pray for a solution to this heartbreak Ed...remembering that God works in mysterious ways...and very often answers in a different way from that which we expect !
Very moving accompanying picture as well !

Books by
Mr. Ed

Where The Redwing Sings

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My Dog Is My Hero

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Curious Creatures - Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals

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Through Katrina's Eyes, Poems from an Animal Rescuer's Soul

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Cemetery Island

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Gold River Canyon

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Mystery of Madera Canyon

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