I learned something special this month. When you’re associated with veterans, May is a very important month. It’s a given, with the title of Hero Dog, you’re gonna be busy in May. But I could not have expected how many events I went to this month!
While the first part of May included rather routine activities like classes, and my first metro and bus rides, nearly every weekday was spent under my puppy raiser’s desk enjoying everyone’s attention, good belly rubs, and cool air conditioning. I learned there’s a saying “It’s a dog’s life” and I intend to take full advantage of it.
The evenings and weekends were spent at the baseball field cheering on my puppy raisers or other friends I’ve made. I was even made the team mascot for the Herndon All-Star baseball team – the Herndon Hawks. I don’t get the relationship of a Labrador to a hawk, but I’m okay with eating their ice, lapping at their sweaty faces, and hanging out in the dugout.
The travel hasn’t stopped, though. I took a quick flight down to Myrtle Beach to join The Wall That Heals in their stop there. I didn’t see much beach as the event was hosted in a park on the old Air Force base, but I got to see plenty of statues of Air Force heroes like my namesake, General Billy Mitchell. (Give me a break you Army vets; he’s an Air Force Hero in an Army uniform.)
It was great to see people at The Wall and then later out at lunch or dinner. It gave me a great opportunity to show them how I can pick up silverware, napkins, or quietly wait beneath my puppy raiser’s seat.
The best part about Myrtle Beach were the ducks and geese in the nearby pond. I may be a Hero Dog, but my daddy Vince is a 49th Champion Master Hunter and this stuff is easy. My mom Brigan also has at least one title in hunting. I’m feeling good when it comes to finding ducks and geese. As a Hero Dog I won’t be hunting, and I need to leave the ducks and geese alone, but take my working vest off and I’m ready to watch them!
On Memorial Day weekend, I spent the Saturday at The Wall while they read all 6,790 names of those service members killed since 9/11. There were plenty of tears, a lot of sadness, and some great moments – a perfect place for a Hero Dog. Not only did I get to meet many great people, but I even stopped to take a few photos with some wounded OIF/OEF veterans and General David Petraeus. (Check out the photos in my Flickr album!)
Of course the grand-daddy of all ceremonies in May was the Memorial Day event at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Thousands of people attended, and I had an important job to do in greeting them all. Of course, once they were all seated, I just laid down in the shade and relaxed, but they weren’t paying attention to me at that point anyway. I had an even more important job of guarding the ice. I think I come by this one quite naturally.