Mason and the Dog Wrangler(19)

By: C.L. Etta

Yuma, God’s revenge for killing in Liberty’s name. Half the time I hadn’t known if I was in Kabul or Yuma. The fucking sand was everywhere, and the sun never found a decent cloud to hide behind.

While stationed at Yuma, we’d met Logan, a grizzly one-armed Vietnam veteran with a penchant for gay soldiers. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if Logan is gay, nor do I care. But, he understands that being gay while serving in the United States military sucks balls. Fuck, ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ DADT only gets a person so far. Yeah, we got legal rights, but fucking rights don’t mean squat to bigots. Bigots don’t change their attitude just ‘cause the law changes. They’re full of hate and ignorance. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my near forty years, it’s that hate and ignorance dies real slow. Let me tell you, there’s a passel of fucking bigots in the US Army.

Logan’s a shrink, and he helped many a queer soldier with living the military life. If nothing else, during an hour visit, a soldier could be himself—in safety. With Logan, a man could shed his confining skin of conformity. He could trill, lisp, wave a limp wrist or just plainly say he missed sucking dick. No judgment, no repercussions.

Mike had been pressuring me for years to come out of the closet. After DADT’s repeal, he’d wanted to live with me, in the open and unafraid, like a real couple. Mike had wanted us to get a place together, knowing that this station in Yuma was our last. We were coming up on our twenty years of service to Uncle Sam, and would soon retire from soldiering.

“Come on, Hound, we’ll rent an apartment, not too far from base. We can go to work together, come home together—share a bed for more than a few nights while on leave. No more sneaking around, no more searching for a private place to let loose. Isn’t that what you want too?”