While I was visiting Ft. Someplace I met a wonderful married couple who I'll call "J&J."
The gal is a tiny, beautiful, spitfire of a woman and the guy is another one of our nation's silent heroes who just returned to active duty after a nasty encounter with flying metal in Iraq. They are good people who have been through multiple combat tours as a couple and were finally getting to spend little time together without the stress that comes with that kind of intense separation. They did not deserve what happened to them next...
As I was seeing Ssgt. Blue Eyes off to work at 0430 one morning, the upstairs neighbor came out on her balcony to tell us that she had seen someone trying all the door handles on the vehicles in the parking lot during the night, AND that this same someone spent quite a bit of time in J&J's jeep. Rather than calling 911 she called the security patrol for the apartment complex and left a message. They never called back and never showed up so what did she do then? Precisely nothing! (No, wait, I forget, she called her long-distance boyfriend because she was afraid and not sure if the event was "worthy" of calling the police. He apparently did not advise her otherwise.) Blue Eyes immediately noted that the console of the jeep had been forced open and that the glove box was also wide open with it's contents spilled on the floorboard. Since he had to be on base soon, I sent him on his way and went about alerting J&J as to the condition of their Jeep.
It was not a pretty site.
Several items were stolen, including the Surefire flashlight that had seen this soldier ("J") through multiple combat tours. The stereo was also missing but it had not been ripped out in a hurry. Someone had enough time to carefully un-install the system so as not to damage it. The police were called (FINALLY) and of course there wasn't anything they could do other than file a report by that time.
Needless to say, there was a deep and meaningful discussion about what would have happened had J&J or Blue Eyes and I caught this person in the act, as well as speculation on the fate of anyone seen walking around wearing a certain brand of sunglasses while listening to a green Ipod in the next few weeks.
What really INFURIATED me was the fact that the cowardly *&@!! who did this also took the time to remove the Jeep doors and stack them neatly in the back of the vehicle - right above the license plates bearing the words "WOUNDED COMBAT VETERAN" and the Purple Heart emblem. Stealing is bad enough. Stealing from a soldier is just plain chicken shit. But to steal from a man who has three metal plates in his body and is preparing to re-deploy is downright evil!
Much as I want J&J to get their stuff back, (unlikely,) what I really want is for Blue Eyes and "J" to get a hold of this guy. Better yet, let them catch him trying it again so they could "educate" and "rehabilitate" him in the rules of respecting the laws of our society. I know, I know - I'm wishing for a perfect world, but damn it would be nice to see that brand of justice just once!
I am working on replacing the stolen Surefire for "J" since I often send them to the guys I've adopted through Any Soldier
, but it won't be the same as the one that went through Iraq and Afghanistan with him. You can't
replace something like that when it comes to the sentimental value.
For anyone reading this who is as angry as I am, I ask that you take the time today to help a soldier as a way of balancing the scales. Any Soldier
and Soldier's Angels
are always looking for folks to adopt a member of our troops and I promise you that you will not find a more fulfilling endeavor in that arena.
Anyway, I'm all fired up again so I'm going to take Lobo out to play fetch till I calm down.