Old War Dogs

The following was forwarded to me from Russ Vaughn. It is difficult to separate, Bill and Russ, as to who did what first to give birth to Old War Dogs.

By Russ Vaughn

Bill Faith was my buddy, a term that has particular meaning for those who have worn a uniform in service to this country. And though I never met him, nor even heard his voice a single time, that’s how I will remember Bill, as my buddy, someone who served alongside me through victory and defeat, through thick and thin, but who always could be counted on to stand up and be counted when it counted most.

I must first apologize to Bill’s family and all of you out there for being tardy in posting my thoughts on Bill’s passing. Two months ago my wife and I were abruptly thrust into the role of primary caregivers for her almost ninety-year-old parents, a responsibility which has kept both of us away from our computers and me from my blogging efforts. It was only through an email from The Gray Dog, Mike Connelly, that I learned belatedly of Bill’s death.

I don’t even remember precisely when Bill and I became acquainted, just that it was sometime after John Kerry became the Democrat frontrunner in 2004 and this old Vietnam vet, like millions of my brothers, swore to do everything in my power to prevent that traitor from ever becoming commander in chief. Scott Swett, at Wintersoldier blog, first began posting my anti-Kerry rants, which were then picked up by the Freepers and spread to other like-minded sites. Shortly thereafter I received an email from Bill, telling me he would like to post my pieces at his Small Town Veteran blog. As soon as I visited the site, I knew I had found an ally, one who quickly became a long-distance friend and a valued editor of my sometimes rough expositions.

When Kerry was defeated in November 2004, Bill and I, like all our Vietnam veteran brothers who had fought to keep Kerry out of the presidency, were exhilarated and felt that at last we had been exonerated. In sharing that victory, we became buddies, and the bond became even stronger in the summer of 2006 when Bill became webmaster of our new blog, Old War Dogs, which may have been my brainstorm but was Bill’s baby from the outset. He built the pen and the doghouse from scratch and fed and watered that pup every day. And like most proud papas, he could get quickly cantankerous if he felt like someone was mistreating his dog, including me.

Bill kept OWD up and running all through this last election fiasco even though, like me, he was never more than lukewarm to the idea of John McCain as our candidate. But, good soldier that he was, Bill fought the good fight right up until the bitter end. And as bitter as it was for the rest of us, his email telling me that he was going to back away from daily blogging at OWD, made me aware that my buddy was battle weary and in need of some respite. I regret not then realizing just how badly needed it was.

Michelle Malkin’s farewell post to Bill includes my poem, The Sheepdogs, and I thank her for that because there was never a more dedicated Sheepdog than Bill Faith. He loved his flock, both the immediate, his family, especially his new grandbaby, and that much larger flock, his countrymen.

Bill, I’m gonna miss you, Buddy.

Russ Vaughn