A Collector Series Story
Charles W. Bird
Charles W. Bird
Copyright © 2014
Copyright © 2014
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely accidental. This story is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.
Prologue: Carson Black Eagle was coming home! He had spent his youth serving as a United States Marine the world over, wherever there was a problem, Carson was sent. Besides being an amazing linguist, he was an impressive warrior! Rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before his injuries forced his retirement he had served in every combat zone, starting with Viet Nam. His retirement ceremony had been held in the Rose Garden of the White House as the President hung the Medal of Honor around his neck.
Despite all this, Carson Black Eagle was an unhappy man, his wife and young son were killed in an automobile accident just three years earlier when a drunk had run a red light and destroyed his Family.
His months in the rehabilitation hospital had done nothing to ease his spirit nor did it help him accept that he was now a one-legged military has been with a metal monstrosity in the place of the leg he had lost to a Mulim Fantatic's improvised explosive device (IED).
His decision to return to his roots on the Reservation was not a difficult one to make, it was a place to hide from himself and remember a time of his youth, happy, carefree and whole.
His Uncle, Thomas Two-Trees, had told him, "Come home and heal" and that was what he was going to do, sit in the sun and heal! Thomas Two-Trees was a wise old man, knowing in the ways of those who were hurting beyond their ability to cope. He knew if he could get his nephew to accompany him on his rounds to the villages of their people, Carson would find his balance and regain his soul.
Thomas was the Senior Chief of THE PEOPLE, besides being a hereditary Shaman!
The Air Force Base Commander had graciously assigned a car and driver to return Lt. Col. Black Eagle to his home on the Reservation. It was a gesture of goodwill to this man who had served and suffered for his country.
Carson had been treated with every dignity and honor when he had landed at the base, the Commanding General himself had met the plane and an Honor Guard escorted the Medal of Honor Officer from the plane to the waiting car.
It was a long trip to the land of THE PEOPLE and Carson was becoming fatigued, as the car drove down the only paved street of his hometown, he saw the street lined with waving people and a banner hung over the street "Welcome Home, Son of the People!"
As the car drew up to the front of his Uncle's home, he saw the Boy Scout Troop assembled at attention, the Patrol Leader in front, holding a salute!
His Uncle, standing beside the boy, dressed in his Chief's regalia, holding out his hands in welcome and a huge smile on his face for his nephew!
The strain and emotion of the last several days finally caught up to him and tears began to flow down his battle scared face.
His uncle came to the car and opened the passenger door, "Welcome home, Carson Black Eagle." Thomas reached in and caressed his nephew's shoulder in reassurance, letting him know that his tears were not unmanly.
The old Chieftain turned to the waiting folk and proclaimed, "Our Hero, our Brave, Carson Black Eagle is home at last, let us welcome our son!"
Thomas helped Carson to his feet, he was still a little unsteady on his prosthetic leg, and hugged him. "Welcome home, nephew, God had returned you to us, be thankful!"
The strain and emotion had exhausted him, Thomas guided Carson into his home, where his Aunt Lethora had fixed up a room for Carson during his stay with them.
After greeting and hugging his aunt, Carson asked if he could rest for a while, they left him laying on the bed and soon, he was fast asleep.
Thomas' oldest Grandson, Farrell, had asked to be Carson's helper until he was back on his feet. Thomas knew his Grandson was different from other boys on the reservation, that he was a boy with two spirits. He knew that Carson would not take advantage of the boy, so he agreed to let Farrell aide Carson as he became reacquainted with his childhood home.
Carson instinctively knew that the boy was of two spirits, by the Whiteman's reckoning, the boy was gay.
Carson slept until early evening, he awoke greatly refreshed and decided to take a stroll through town. As he opened the door to his bedroom, he found his young cousin, Farrell, patiently sitting on a chair next to the door.
The 16 year old boy jumped up and took Carson's hand, "Cousin, I am to be your guide and aide for as long as you need me!", the boy proclaimed. His smile was contagious and Carson hugged the boy, thanking him for his help.
He told the boy that he just wanted to go for a walk, so Farrell led him out the front door and steadied his arm as Carson nearly stumbled on the front steps.
The two walked down the main street, folks waving to him in greeting. They walked as far as the General Store, when Carson began to tire, so Farrell said he would get them some Cokes and Carson was to sit on the bench until he returned.
While Carson was seated on the bench, he heard someone crying, a child was crying. He struggled to his feet and went in search of the sound. As he rounded the corner of the building, he spotted a small child huddled against the propane tanks stored against the wall. The child was crying and incredibly dirty, dressed only in rags.
His mind flashed back to the children he had seen in Viet Nam, he dropped to his good knee and reached out his arms to hold the little boy. The child screamed, "Don't hurt me!"
Carson looked, there was blood on the boy's shirt – fresh blood was running down his arms!
Carson screamed for Farrell, who came running around the corner of the building. Farrell cried out, "Those bastards are at it again!"
He held the boy as Carson struggled to his feet, saying, "Farrell, I cannot leave this child here!" The youth nodded and said, "Cousin, there are many boys like this one. The older boys torment them and like to hurt them! They are orphans and belong to no one!"
Carson glared at the teen, "That is not the way of our people! Bring the child, I will care for him!"
The pair walked quickly back to the house, Farrell carrying the hurt boy. As they entered the house, Carson called for his Aunt Lethora, she cried out when she saw the child, "Another one, God have mercy on these poor children!" She took the hurt boy from Farrell and proceeded to wash the child and treat his hurts.
Carson told her that he would care for the child and to bring him to his room!
When the boy was brought back to Carson, he laid the child on his own bed and cuddled him until the boy fell into a deep, exhausted sleep. When he was sure the boy was asleep, Carson arose from the bed and proceeded out to the main part of the house, determined to confront his Uncle!
Carson's anger was almost beyond his control. He found his Uncle in the living room, seated on a chair. Before Carson could say a word, his Uncle said, "The young people have these children and then dump them here as they run away from the reservation. We have no way to care for them and not enough money to even provide food for them."
The old man was in tears, his heart breaking over the plight he was describing to his Nephew.
Carson slumped into a chair, "No money to even feed them? Where do they live?"
The old man replied in his own misery, "Anywhere they can find shelter for the night. They eat from the garbage cans or sometimes folks can spare a little food they can eat."
Carson was devastated, this was not the Way of The People! As he sat there deep in sorrow, he suddenly remembered something and shouted, "Now I understand!"
His Uncle looked at him in question.
Carson said to him, "When Sally and little Carson, Jr. were killed, I was awarded a two million dollar settlement and couldn't understand why it was so much! Now, I understand! I also have my savings and my benefit payment! What can I build for almost four million dollars?"
Young Farrell was staring at his cousin in wonder, could he really do something for these children?
Farrell led Carson all over the southern part of the reservation, the teen had recently gotten his driver's license and Carson had gone into the city and purchased a brand new Ford double cab 4-wheel drive pickup.
Farrell took Carson to one of his favorite places when he wanted to be alone, Wild Horse Canyon. The two were sitting in the truck with a small boy between them, Chigger. Since his rescue by Carson, whom the child called "Hero Warrior", little Chigger was practically glued to his side. They would walk down the street, Chigger on one side and Farrell on the other!
As they were eating their lunch, Carson saw some roofs of buildings on the far side of the canyon. He had been away from the Reservation for many years as he served in the Marine Corps, so he asked Farrell what they were.
Farrell said, "It is an old dude ranch the tribe tried to get going, but it was a flop."
Carson had his cousin drive them down the canyon and over to the old dude ranch. The buildings were in fair shape, but the barn was total loss. There was a spring that provided water for a small pond and they saw a high tank and windmill nearby that must have supplied the house and outbuildings at one time.
Suddenly, Carson said, "Let's go! He wanted to go back to town. When they got there, he had Farrell stop in front of the Tribal Office and he went in to speak to his Uncle, the Senior Chief.
An hour later, Carson came limping out of the building, a huge grin plastered on his face. Farrell started to get excited, "You bought it, didn't you?" Carson replied, "Yep, it is going to be called Brave House!"
Within days, Carson had hired young men from the town, many who had given up hopes of ever getting a paying job, and started to get the old dude ranch cleaned and repaired. The main lodge was first, the upstairs was gutted and turned into three person bedrooms with showers and toilets at either end of each hall. Downstairs, an industrial kitchen was installed and the dining room enlarged. Along one side, offices and a small dispensary were built.
Carson made a couple of telephone calls and three days later his old Gunnery Sergeant and two Navy Medics arrived for a happy reunion. They had all been retired from the military and were bored! The chance to again serve with Colonel Black Eagle, in their eyes, the most famous Special Forces Commander living, was a chance of a lifetime.
As they stepped out of their car, the Sergeant saluted and said, "Gunnery Sergeant Andrews and Medics Bailey and Phillips, reporting for duty, Sir!"
Carson laughed, "You can take the Sergeant out of the Marines but you cannot take the Marines out of the Sergeant!" He took Gunny and the two Medics for a tour and showed them what he was building.
Little Chigger ran up to Carson, then skidded to a stop when he saw the strangers. He tried to hide behind Carson's leg, but Gunny looked own and said, "And who are you, little man?" The little boy puffed up his chest and replied, "I's Chigger and this man is gonna be my new Daddy!"
Carson had not come to a decision yet to adopt the little boy, but he did right then! He had a wide smile on his face for the remainder of the day.
Gunny Andrews suggested that they convert the old bunk houses to dormitories for older boys, with a room for a House Dad.
Carson asked, "House Dad?" Gunny laughed, "Yeah, you know, recycled Marines!"
As the men were standing there talking, they failed to notice three pairs of eyes that were watching them from the brush on the hillside, but Chigger saw them. He whispered to Farrell, and the two darted off.
Suddenly, a commotion erupted on the hillside and three young boys were being led down to where the men were standing. Gunny knelt down so that he was at eye level with the new boys, "Looking for a place to stay, are ya?" He asked them.
The three boys, now very frightened, struggled to get away, but the old Marine put his arms around them and said, "I'll bet you haven't eaten, either?" The oldest boy started to cry, "We's not eaten in three days, sir."
Gunny said loudly, "Medics, the lunch box, please!"
The two old Medics, Joe Bailey and Anderson Phillips carried a picnic hamper out of their car and handed ham and cheese sandwiches to the boys. Their eyes got big and suddenly, their tears eased as they started eating dream food! Paper cups of lemonade were given the starving boys, and that disappeared almost as fast as did the sandwiches!
Gunny looked at Carson and said, "Colonel, sir, we have three new recruits for Brave House!" Carson shook his head, "You will never change, will you, Andy?" The grizzled old sergeant smiled and replied, "No, sir!"
Carson sent Farrell into town with enough money to purchase blankets and sheets, as well as a small supply of food and necessary living items for the boys until the next day.
The next morning, Carson was awakened from his temporary cot in the front office, by smells of bacon and eggs being cooked. He struggled to get his prosthesis on and hobbled out to the kitchen.
Gunny was standing at the stove, with his sleeves rolled up, pouring pancake batter onto an old griddle that he had found in the pantry. He put his finger up to his lips, telling Carson not to say a word. He walked quietly to the back door with several pieces of hot bacon in his hand and flung it open, there stood four boys, their eyes as big as saucers.
Gunny held out the strips of bacon that were in his hand to the boys.
Those boys were so hungry, they would have followed that bacon up a straight wall! He led then to the table and said, "Here, have some bacon while I get your breakfast on the table.
The oldest of the boys said, "Huh, yo,yu, you gots food fer ussin's?"
Gunny looked across the table at Carson, "Four more, Colonel, sir!"
Before the provisions truck that Carson had ordered arrived, just before lunch time, another four boys had shown up. Their first day and not even open yet, Brave House had a population of ten boys!
Farrell decided he needed to be out at Brave House to help his cousin, so he moved into one of the Mentor Rooms at the first bunkhouse.
Boys were arriving faster than the carpenters could refurbish the bedrooms! By the end of the first month, they had forty-eight boys in residence and Carson was still fighting with the state for an operating permit! Being on the Reservation, they really didn't need one, but he felt that it would be better and also would provide the basis for asking that a school be established for the boys.
At the rate homeless boys were arriving, Carson and Gunny Andy decided they needed more room, so Carson started the carpenters on rebuilding the old guest house.
The young men employed as carpenters were delighted for the work. Carson had already decided he would keep them on the payroll, but hadn't said anything yet.
He watched the young men and soon picked out the leaders and "go-getters". One by one, he took those aside and offered the jobs at Brave House, some as mentors and others as handymen or maintenance.
There was no heat in the buildings, so one of the first things to be done was the installation of a boiler, they decided hot water heat would be the best things for those buildings.
A trucking company from the nearby city was contracted to be their freight agent and they would handle all the trucking needs for Brave House. They were a little startled when they received an order for twenty-eight horses to be delivered, but with a little ingenuity, they got all twenty eight horses there the same day! That was the first of many strange and demanding deliveries they would perform.
Carson was relaxing on the front porch, the weather had turned warm and it was too hot to stay inside the house. He was daydreaming when he heard a whispered, "Is it him" "Yeah, I think so." "No, you go ask." By now he was wide awake, so he called out, "OK, so come and ask me!"
A frightened teen came from around the side of the house, Carson didn't recognize him, so he knew what was going on. He sat very still, making no sudden or threatening moves.
The boy came to stand in front of him and asked, "sss s Sir, are you Colonel Hero Warrior?" Carson knew immediately from where that name originated, Chigger!" Carson replied, "You have been talking with my son, Yes, I am Colonel Hero Warrior."
The boy continued, "Do you have room for some more boys?"
Carson said, "Absolutely, how many?"
The boy beamed, "I have twenty boys with me!" He hollered, "Come on guys, we gots a place to stay!" The boy, who said his name was Stan, said, "I have tried to keep the boys safe and fed, but I just can't get enough food for all of us!"
Carson lost his composure as the boys began to file around the corner of the building, they were nothing but skin and bones, barely covered by a few dirty rags. Many had angry sores on their faces and arms and two of the boys were being carried in the arms of other boys in barely better condition!
Carson screamed for Gunny and the Medics to come immediately, he was surrounded by these pitiful scraps of humanity.
The two Medics took one look at what was on the porch and ran for their medical kits.
Two of the men that Carson had hired as Maintenance Men, dropped their tools and ran to assist the boys. The look on their faces was one of utter horror and they could not contain their tears. They gently carried the boys inside and began cleaning and bathing them, while the two medics worked for hours treating injuries much like what they had seen in the jungle war of Viet Nam!
It was nearing midnight before the last child was tucked into a bed, clean, fed and bandaged. The two young men told Carson that they would finish the maintenance project the next day.
He replied, "NO, you guys get some sleep, you are on Brave House staff now, someone else can do maintenance! You are the maintenance of boys!"
They both grinned and shouted, "Yes sir, Colonel, Sir!" as they ran off to the carpenter's bunkhouse for the last time. From that time onwards, Carson was called Colonel Hero Warrior!
There was a continual procession of construction going on at Brave House, the carpenters had steady work for several years, as soon as a new wing was completed, it was filled with homeless boys!
At the end of the third year, there were 680 boys in residence! An elementary school had been completed the year before and now Carson was faced with financing a high school.
What he was not informed about was that Gunny Anderson had "put out the word" that Colonel Black Eagle was raising money for a high school for homeless boys.
The Marine Corps grapevine went into high gear and just before Christmas, Gunny presented Carson with a check for $3,250,000! Not to be outdone, Joe Bailey and Andy Phillips presented him with another check for $3,500,000 from the Fleet Reserve Association members!
Poor Carson was gobsmacked, he had no idea that anyone even cared, let alone to that degree! Hero Warrior High School was constructed in record time, it opened its doors to students the following September! Chigger Black Eagle was elected the first Freshman Class President!
Farrell Two Trees came back from University with a Degree in Sociology. Carson immediately hired him as Brave House Administrator. Farrell started an outreach program where Brave House boys could go to other Boy's House Facilities as exchange students, there soon were students from places all over the United States and Brave House Boys spread out, carrying Carson's message of help for homeless boys.
The day came when news of a terrible disaster was announced, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake shattered cities on the West Coast. The news on the television was horribly graphic, men, women and children were dying, there were hurt and wandering children lost from their families!
Calvin Little Bird stood to assembly the next morning, he was an Eagle Scout in the Brave House Boy Scouts. Like his cousin, Farrell, he was gay and everyone knew it. Nobody cared!
Calvin stood before his fellow students and said, "Our Nation has suffered a terrible tragedy, yet we are untouched. Children are hurt, yet we are untouched. Children, mothers and fathers are hurt, hungry and have no shelter, yet we are here untouched. Who will Join me, who will join me to help these people?"
His fellow Boy Scouts jumped up and said, "We will help!"
Chigger Black Eagle, Student Council President stood and shouted, "We all will help!"
The boys spread out, traveling from one end of the state to the other, collecting donations, food, blankets clothing and supplies. They collected over $5,000,000 in cash and 2700 tons of clothing, blankets and supplies. Two freight companies donated transportation for the supplies and the bus company donated 30 buses to transport the student volunteers to the shattered cities.
The students had signs painted for the buses, "BRAVE HOUSE WARRIORS FROM HERO WARRIOR HIGH SCHOOL"
They spent the entire summer helping the people of those shattered cities, many forming friendships with the youths of those cities that would last lifetimes. They helped rebuild houses and build new shelters, gathered children and fed them, cared for young mothers and sheltered their babies, comforted those who had lost loved ones and, tragically, helped bury those who had not survived.
The Brave House Boy Scouts provided Honor Guards for funerals, Hero Warrior High School Students, helped tutor children who were falling behind because their schools were destroyed.
They worked in soup kitchens, laundries, day care centers, any place that had need of willing hands, Hero Warrior High School Boys were there, getting their hands dirty helping others. They asked for no thanks and they needed no recognition.
As summer came to an end and the emergency had been met, they quietly and without fanfare, crowded in their busses and returned to their Reservation Home.
Few realized that they were homeless boys who had come to help others who were newly made homeless. One newspaper writer, however, wanted to know. He dug and scrambled for information, wrote letters and made telephone calls until he discovered where these youthful benefactors had come from.
When he finally discovered Hero Warrior High School and Brave House Boys, he started a campaign of his own.
School had been back in session for several weeks when a cavalcade of official cars, news vans and television crews arrived at Hero Warrior High School. In the cars were the three governors of the states that had been helped by the boys, they asked if it would be possible to meet the student body in an assembly.
Permission was granted and classes were dismissed for the assembly. There, they presented to Chigger Black Eagle on behalf of the entire student body, a bronze and silver plaque that reads:
Brave House and its school prospered and its graduates made their community prosper as well. The Reservation population again began to increase, businesses were started and The People became prosperous once more. Fields, once left fallow, were farmed, cattle herds increased and pride was evident everywhere.
Farrell Two Trees was elected Senior Chief to replace his ailing Grandfather, Chigger Black Eagle went away to University and came back to teach at Hero Warrior High School.
Other boys decided to follow the course set by their own Hero Warrior and entered military service, primarily the United States Marine Corps. Several boys, followed a different course, they went to Medical School, following the example of Medics Bailey and Phillips.
Yet another entered the United States Senate and spent the next 20 years helping his nation prosper.
One terrible morning, Brave House Boys learned that their own Marine, Gunnery Sergeant Anderson had passed away in his sleep. The Old Marine had no family but his boys and he had wanted to be buried on the knoll overlooking Brave House.
The senior class escorted their beloved Gunny to his final resting place, where he could continue to watch over his boys. They took turns carrying his casket up that hill and placed it before that terrible hole in the ground.
Chigger Black Eagle stood to speak of this man who had been so much a part of their lives. "Marine Gunnery Sergeant Nathan Anderson was a Man among Men and He taught us through thought and deed what it took to be men. God created only a few Men that good and we were blessed with one of them. We are burying only his husk, He is with us, He is in us, He is us for all time."
The entire body of student then sang "Amazing Grace" as they filed past Gunny's casket, many boys openly weeping in their loss, most kissed the casket as a way of saying goodbye to their beloved mentor.
Chigger Black Eagle took a group of senior boys to the University as a field trip, so they could get an idea of what it would be like in a school environment away from their home.
He took the boys for lunch in the Student Center and they were appalled at the behavior of some of the students. Chigger smiled and said, "You are from a closed society, where we are all the same. Here, boys and girls mingle, from all sorts of backgrounds. That is what life is all about."
Some of the boys were not so sure they really wanted to go away to the University, if that was the way some people acted!
Chigger, wisely, said nothing and just let the boys talk among themselves. After spending the day visiting the various aspects of University Life, the boys were more than ready to return to their safe haven, Brave House.
As they were driving from the city, Darrell Painted Pony screamed, "Stop, Stop the van!" As soon as their driver brought the van to a stop, Darrell jumped out the door and ran into the bushes.
He soon returned with a young teen in his arms. The boy was nothing but skin and bones and his clothing was more hole than cloth! Both the teen and Darrell were crying, Darrell said, "We must save this boy!" as he looked pleadingly at Chigger.
Chigger, shaken to his very core in remembering his earliest memories of being saved by Carson Black Eagle, his Father, could only agree with Darrell. It did not matter that the boy was White, not Indian.
The young teen, held tightly in Darrell's strong arms, soon fell asleep. Tears were silently rolling down Darrell's face as he pleaded with Chigger to allow the boy to live with them.
Chigger, nearly drowning in his own memories, agreed and they rode in silence, each person remembering his own rite of salvation.
They arrived back at Brave House and Darrell insisted upon carrying the new boy to the infirmary, where the two old Medics now supervised a whole department of care givers.
Joe Bailey was on duty and the moment he saw the young Indian man carrying a White teen boy, he mobilized the Medical Department. The boy awoke as he was being bathed, he looked around with frightened eyes, until he spotted his rescuer standing near him.
The boy said, "Please help me, don't let them hurt me!"
Darrell ran to the frightened child and threw his arms around him, getting soaked with bath water in the process. He said to the boy, "We have each been where you are now, you are safe here and as soon as Doc Bailey says it is OK, we have a meal and a warm bed for you. I will always be here for you."
The boy began to sob, "My Daddy threw me away, he said I was a faggot and shoved me out the door!" Darrell continued to hug the boy and told him he was safe and cared for now. He told the boy to forget that word, "faggot" nobody cared here!
As soon as the boy was released by Medical, Darrell led him into the Dining Hall and asked the cooks to fix him a plate. As they sat down, Darrell learned that the boy was Timmy O'Reilly and, yes, he had bright red hair after they had washed the dirt and grime out of it!
Timmy just stared at the food, not comprehending that the whole plate was just for him! Darrell started feeding him and after the first few bites, Timmy began to wolf the food down. Darrell went back to the counter and asked the cooks to fill the plate again, finally, Timmy pushed the plate away saying he was stuffed.
Darrell then took the boy to his own room and put him to bed in his own bed, knowing that his roommates would watch after Timmy for him.
Darrell then went to Chigger and asked that an assembly be called for the next morning. Chigger grinned and asked, "Got a new project, huh?"
Darrell flushed and replied, "Yes sir and I'm gonna need lots of help!"
Darrell then returned to his room and sat beside the bed until Timmy woke. He took the boy, now fully rested, to Administration to get him assigned to a room of his own and issued clothing and personal items.
When he got Timmy settled in his own room, he said, "Timmy, consider me your new Big Brother, you come to me any time you need help or even if you just want to talk, OK?"
Timmy hugged his benefactor and promised he would. Darrell left the boy to become acquainted with his new roommates and headed for the dining hall.
Darrell entered the dining hall, it was meal time and the room was full of laughing and playing teenagers. Darrel jumped up on a bench and shouted, "I need some help, we got us a big problem!"
A group of boys volunteered to help Darrell, he met with them after supper and told them what had taken place in the City. They were appalled, one boy asked, "You mean he was living in the bushes alongside the highway?"
Darrell replied, "Yup, he had a cardboard box he was sleeping in!" The boys were ready to return to the city that moment to retrieve homeless boys!
Darrell told them about his plans for an assembly the next morning, they all agreed to participate! The news of what had taken place spread through Brave House like a wildfire, the boys wanted action and they wanted it NOW!
By the next morning, anger was running at a fever pitch, throughout out the student body of 1800 boys! The assembly was announced for 9:00 am, standing room only was left in the auditorium, every boy attended!
Darrell and his crew stood on the stage and told of what had taken place. He proposed that squads be formed and they take the school vans to search out homeless boys in the city on Saturdays!
There were twenty vans and twenty adults volunteered to go with the boys. They painted signs to go on each van "Brave House Rescue Van" and the next Saturday they ventured out.
That first weekend, eighty boys were rescued. They were observed by some University students who were in the ROTC. During the week, several of the Cadets came out to Brave House, offering to assist.
The next weekend, the Cadets replaced the adults in the vans and over one hundred homeless boys were found! Thus began a permanent relationship between the University ROTC and Brave House.
As the volume of homeless boys diminished in the City, the vans began going to other towns and cities in the state, the population at Brave House nearly doubled, construction was begun for yet another dormitory and additional classrooms in the high school were built.
The boys asked for their own ROTC class and a JR ROTC Department was added for the next school year. The number of boys participating in Brave House Boy Scout Troop doubled and two additional Patrols had to be started!
The boys were recognized on a state level as a power to be reckoned with! State Police Troopers regularly brought homeless boys to the Rescue Vans. More than a few Troopers came away in tears at what he saw in those vans!
The boys started calling themselves The Boy Warriors!
Life continued at Brave House, but they began to watch their other brave warrior closely, Carson Black Eagle, Hero Warrior, was visibly failing. The terrible assault on his body over the years had taken its toll, they knew that they had not much longer to honor LT. COLONEL CARSON BLACK EAGLE, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, MEDAL OF HONOR!
Boys and grown men, once boys themselves, came trooping to visit with their Hero Warrior. Men came from all walks of life, from all over the country and beyond, to sit and remember with him. He loved to sit and remind them of their boyhood antics, many realizing for the first time that what they thought was a secret, he knew!
They came in a steady stream, just to sit with this man who had saved them from unbelievable horror, had reared them to heights they could have never even dreamed of in their prior lives. Boys who had no future became men of promise and production, honor and dignity.
On a quiet Saturday afternoon, after lunch, Carson Black Eagle died as he had lived, in quiet dignity.
His boys were devastated and back home they came in droves, from all walks of life, from all parts of the country and beyond, they came to honor the man who had given them life!
Again, Chigger Black Eagle rose to the occasion, this time to bury his Father. His own grief was unbearable, this man had snatched him from hunger, poverty and death to give him life and a future!
Upon hearing the news, Farrell Two Trees collapsed and had to be resuscitated. His Life Partner insisted on sitting beside his bed, while he recovered.
Farrell insisted on sharing the terrible task of burying Carson with Chigger. Both men accompanied the casket to the burial place on the knoll overlooking Brave House.
Farrell spoke first, "There is nothing I can say to adequately describe Carson Black Eagle, He was a Man among Men whose legacy is Us. Mere words cannot do this man justice, therefor, let us each go forth and each day asking ourselves, ‘What would Hero Warrior do in this case!'"
Chigger then stood, looking over the crowd that had gathered and said, "We are here to bury a Man who was our gift from God. Let us, then, give back to God that which he gave us, Lord God, here is your gift returned unsullied that you might send Him again to those so in need that they cannot survive without him." He bowed his head and whispered, "Wait for me, Daddy."