1969 Phu Cat Re-Visited
Vinny made it clear, and insisted I was to see the First Shirt, first thing in the morning. I had an hour to kill before the NCOIC got to work, so I spent it working with Duke in the exercise area.
Duke II ran the course as good as any other dog in the kennel. I didn't get it. Why now, but not on post? I had Duke run the course just the once and packed it in for the night. I put Duke II to sleep with a good brushing and re-filled his water bucket.
Sergeant Johnson was in his office and Sergeant Frances waved me into the office and I stood at attention before the First Shirt.
"At ease Airman Moore. What seems to be the problem."
"My dog is a dud.
Doesn't alert, doesn't do anything in the field but lag behind me. Doesn't react to 'watch him boy'. Got through Tet. ok, but not having a MWD is not what I signed on for and I'm a nervous wreck. When will I be relieved of Duke and given a working dog?"
"The first rotation will happen in another 30 days," said the Sergeant. That's when you will be relieve of Duke, in the mean-time Sergeant Frances, you will run an exercise to night to test Duke on weather he will alert. See to it Airman Moore is assigned to the first shift and advised handlers posted on either side to lend a hand clearing Moore's post. Airman if there is nothing more you are dismissed"
"Thank You Sergeant". I said, turned and walked out the door.
'This lifer is still putting me at risk. I'm going to have to work Duke II for another thirty days, this sucks. But, I've gone as high as I dared with the chain-of-command, bs! What I'm to do about Duke?'
We've had over a week of really nice weather, meaning no rain but the heat persisted. February 5, came and went and my first full month was completed at the Cat. Eleven months to go.
Handlers assisted me nightly clearing my post. After the coffee truck took-off I'd get help and clear the post. But as soon as the handler returned to this own post, I hunkered-down and hid the rest of the night. Two could play this game.