Thank you

To all of our veterans my deepest thanks for being able to live peacefully in my pasture.
The sacrifices made by human and animal can never be repaid and must never be forgotten
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

The following letter is written by Bub, he is the young man who worked with Lady when she needed to go to charm school and works with other horses of the DOR. He wrote this letter to the DOR's students while he was in Iraq. I wanted to share it with you because he is such a fine young man and I found the letter touching. Bub came home safe and we are so grateful for that. He has been changed by his experience and he looks at things differently now. I am doing a repost because I couldn't say things better than Bub already did.

Hi everyone,

As some of you know my name is PFC. Justin Hewitt and Mrs. Hewitt is my wonderful mom. Mom asked me to write you guys a letter for Veterans Day so I figured I’d give it a try. I joined the army during my senior year and went to basic training in Ft. Leonard wood Missouri July 11 07
. Basic training was... interesting. They thought us basic soldier skills like shooting an M-16, throwing hand grenades, and hand to hand combat. It was the longest 9 weeks of my life but in some ways it was 9 of the best. I made friends there that I will never forget like Daniel "the coop" Cooper, David Johnson, and one of my best friends I have ever met Andrew Jon Shields. On May 29th 2008 Andrew was deployed to Afghanistan and was on a routine convoy when his vehicle was hit with a road side bomb. Andrew died instantly. After basic and our advanced individual training we all went our separate ways to our units and new duty stations. I was assigned to the 659th Engineer Company in Spokane. I was only there a little while until I volunteered for a deployment and was reassigned to the 277th En Co from Ft. Sam Houston TX. We got mobilized the 3rd of January 2009. We spent January in Ft. Bliss TX Iraq the beginning of February getting all of our medical and in processing done and were in. We started missions almost right away. Being an Engineer company our missions consisted of running heavy construction equipment to foot patrols through the streets of Baghdad and Sadr city which used to be called Saddam's city but we renamed it as soon as we kicked Saddam's butt outa power. We also do what’s called Route clearance. That’s where we patrol the roads that U.S. forces use for I.E.D.'s and other road side bombs (that’s my favorite). Our tour is almost over but not without a loss, June 11th one of the soldiers in our company was at the medical clinic getting some meds when another soldier from another company came in and opened fire with a pistol. My friend Specialist Jacob Barton saw the man come in and pull his pistol out. The shooter took aim at a female working in the Aide station and Barton jumped in front of her and was shot twice in the head. 4 more soldiers were shot and killed before the shooter was taken down. I've been shot at, been in fire fights, my route clearance vehicle has been blown up twice by road side bombs. I've slept in old school houses, the back of dump trucks, and even an old Iraqi prison once. I've driven over 3000 miles and stayed awake for days on end and I would do it all over again in a heart beat. The friends I’ve made over here are more like brothers and I know without a doubt they would give they're life for me just like I would for them. If you ask any soldier they're not fighting for themselves or for freedom of speech they're fighting for the man to they're left and right. Mom wanted me to tell you guys why I joined but I don’t have one of those I did it for my country answers (although I guess I kind of did). To be honest I really don’t know why I joined. I just wanted to do something with my life that I can look back on some day when I'm old and say “man that’s something to be proud of". At times I regret joining the army but I can’t see myself being anything but a Soldier. I like to say it’s the best worst decision I ever made, and I made quite a few bad decisions just ask my mom. People call us heroes but where not heroes we're just doing our jobs. The real heroes are those that come home in a box with a flag draped over them. It doesn’t matter if you support the war or not, you should still support the troops. Because we didn’t start the fight but we're more than willing to fly half way around the world leaving our wives, husbands, children, moms, and dads and everything else we know and love behind to finish it. So this Veterans Day don’t just think of it as a day off from school. Remember the fallen heroes from past and present wars that died defending your freedom. So if you know a vet from any generation make sure you shake their hand and tell them thank you. It’ll make their day. Well thank you for listening and I hope you have a great Veterans Day.

PFC. Justin Hewitt
277th En Co, 101st En battalion, camp liberty Baghdad Iraq


Running as fast as I can

This past Monday I went on a trail ride with the DOR and some friends.  We climbed steep hills.  We went down steep hills.  We traversed loose rocks and boulders.  We went to the edge of cliffs and looked over...800 feet straight down can make you dizzy.
For six hours I wondered through the roughest terrain I have been in with the DOR.
I walked, I trotted, I loped....Best of all the guide finally convinced the DOR to let loose of the reins and let me run as fast as I could.  Oh boy did I run!!!  I have to admit at first we were both unsure, what if I stumbled?  The DOR made sure to stay centered and balanced, I watched the ground, and the next thing you know we were flying.  Yes I did stumble, but I caught myself and the DOR stayed centered on my back which helped.  I ran full out several times and we were having a ball.
Yep, I have some crazy feet now.
In two weeks I am taking the DOR to dressage lessons.  Before I am done training her she is going to know all kinds of things.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

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