Soldiering On

There’s a Vietnam vet in a wheelchair I see quite often who has a pit named Zeke.

The two of them never fail to get my attention. The guy is very handsome despite his careworn demeanor…blonde, blue-eyed, looks like an aging surfer sitting down. You can see he’s been through hell and his handicap is probably the least of it.

Zeke also has scars. There’s one across his backside that looks like a knife wound where fur no longer grows. One of his ears is practically missing from a dog fight not doubt.

He wears a knitted sweater with his name crocheted across the front in the winter, and a Lakers sweatshirt in spring. The love this man has for this animal would break your heart then lift it to the stars.

The two of them have clearly seen hard times yet together soar like eagles.

Zeke’s patience along with the way he gently protects could make him a spokesman for pits everywhere. He waits for his friend to lock or unlock his chair never pulling his lead while making certain no one pushes or gets in front.

Think bodyguard with a tail.

He knows this man gave him another chance because believe me, he was not getting out alive otherwise. He would have either been killed in a dog fight, put down because he couldn’t fight any longer therefore reaping no income for the fucker arranging these heinous venues of entertainment, or the pound after a week would have put him down since he was no Lassie in the looks department.

In other words, who would adopt him?

This fella, that’s who.

I don’t believe in accidents so when I see them I know it’s to remind me to keep going no matter what.

An animal can show you what humility is all about, and so can a veteran who went to fight a war because our government said he had to, and unlike many of his comrades, came home and not the way he bravely took flight.dsc_5711

Vietnam Wall, Washington D.C.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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24 Responses to Soldiering On

  1. That’s a very touching story. I’m glad the man and dog found each other.


  2. I think my heart just went to the moon reading this beautiful description of what it’s all about…it will be a happy Thursday for me now.


    • Oh Top…should have warned everyone to take out their hankies. I’m not feeling so funny right now so this is where this tale or tail if you will, stemmed from. Saw them yesterday near the subway entrance…I cried all the way home. Some man on the train even offered me his hankie…I demurred but it made me cry even more…Just call me Sappy Sue. lol


  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Beautiful post, Susannah. I love the way you see those around you, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant.
    The king of our prom was movie star handsome, popular, and a truly nice guy. Our class of 32 (largest in school history for many years to come) was close knit. He became a green beret and served in Vietnam. His name is carved on that wall.


    • It’s my favorite memorial. So moving in its simplicity. And the stuff people leave would kill you. I’m told they are all collected and archived. Like that Skinny..that memories are taken that seriously.


  4. Jeanette Hamilton says:

    God bless the vet and Zeke. I’m so glad they have each other. Thanks for sharing a bit of their story with us.


  5. Joe Owens says:

    I hope Zeke has many years to be blessed and bless the vet. Pets also do not judge and will support you no matter what, even if you do not necessarily deserve it. We should all be so devoted.


    • Hi Joe…yes, pets love you evn when you don’t love you. Zeke’s a prince, and as far as I’m concerned, handsome in a Rocky Grazziano kinda way. Sure I spelled Rocky’s name wrong, but you get my drift I’m sure 🙂


  6. beautiful. that conflict suffered not only in battle, but suffered at the hands of this country. It is indeed a sad era and chapter of our lives. Having been a military wife during this era, I love the fact that you lovingly wrote this. I am glad they have each other, scarred, but obviously loved by each other. Thanks for this. It obviously sparked a thought or two from me.


    • You did cross my thoughts. I like how you call it a sad era. Yes it was. Hope it didn’t make you sad.


      • Let’s just say when I hear current military members and spouses complaining that they don’t ‘have’ enough or get enough attention, I want to jump up on my soapbox and tell them what all they do have now. Then I want them to go find a vet and thank them for everything they did without. I am just glad that today young men and women in service can wear their uniforms with pride when they travel and when they are out. They give much and deserve much.


      • Hear Hear DAF…Hear Hear 🙂


  7. katecrimmins says:

    I visited the Viet Nam memorial once and was devastated. Somehow seeing all the names of my peers just sucked the life out of me. There were roses, anniversary cards and all sorts of tokens close to the names from some loved one. I was a freaking sobbing mess. That memorial is so much better than a statue of something. It’s too real.


  8. MJ says:

    Amen. A very beautiful piece. And like of so much of what you write, a guide to the stars in the dark. It brought back memories of a childhood playmate, killed in the Tet Offensive at 18, and the grace with which his family carried on.


  9. MJ says:

    Thanks, Susannah.


  10. micklively says:

    I’m always torn with the vet thing. You will know we have “poppy day” each 11th November. So often it seems remembrance is perverted to a celebration of all things military. It would be good to remember, if only we could show we’d learned something. Your friend in the wheelchair is yet another casualty of greed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could say “I fought the war that taught the world not to fight wars”?
    I’m pleased he found a niche and a faithful friend instead.


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