Behind the Badge

Where did you get those scares?

As a Marine MP, I had responsibility for the cantonment (offices and living quarters areas) and the flightline, depending on the assigned post for that shift. One evening I was called to assist with a breaking and entering call near the house of the base CO, MajGen. ___. When I arrived, I left my canine in the car, as there were a number of personnel around the area, attracted by the lights and activity. I made contact with another MP, Lance Cpl. ___, who informed me that Mrs. General ___ had been coming home from the O club and seen a man "slinking" (her exact word) across the road in front of her. We determined that the last reported direction of travel would put this guy somewhere near the south perimeter of the housing area, and we split up to do a quick area search.

I brought my K9 out and put him to work once we were away from the curious. The LCpl went west, I went east. As I searched, I heard a yell from the rear of the row of houses. I followed behind the dog, as he was excited and knew that he was going to get to "play". As I went around a corner, a flash of color went ZOOM right by me. The dog went after it, and I followed as quickly as I could, basically being dragged behind a 140lb Shepherd. I shined my light on the shape, and saw it was a man, about 5 ft tall, with jeans and a red shirt, carrying a pillowcase bulging from its' contents.

I pursued, running hard, calling for him to halt, warning him I would loose the dog if he didn't stop, which seemed to make him run faster. The next thing I knew, LCpl ___ was standing over me, asking if I was OK. I was confused, and I couldn't initially understand why he was up in the air. As I recovered my senses, I realized he was standing, and I was on my back. I got my breath about the time that I felt the pain in my face. A hand to my chin revealed blood, and I discovered I had cuts on both sides of my mouth. I got to my feet, with a lot of help from the LCpl, who pointed out the wire that was strung between two posts - a clothesline, which I had run into full bore, not seeing it. The man I had been chasing was just short enough to go under with no problem, but he was screaming from further away, as my K9 had latched on to his "most delicate area" and was growling and shaking his head every time this guy struggled. We extricated the guy, turned him over to other MPs while I went to have Steri-strips applied to my face by a grinning HM2 who swore never to tell how I got the cuts. I carry the scars on both sides of my mouth, which in summer stay white while the rest of my face tans. It reminds me to look more carefully into any situation, believe me!

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