Allen G. Breed, Ap National Writer
November 7, 2015
ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 2015 AND THEREAFTER - In this Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015 photo, Honor lies by the casket of Wade Baker at the Wells Funeral Home in Waynesville, N.C. When he saw his master lying in the flag-draped casket, the Labrador pushed through the clutch of weeping family members, reared up, placed his paws on the edge and tried to climb in. Unable to comfort Baker, he curled up underneath. (Susannah Smith via AP)CLYDE, N.C. (AP) — Part of the Labrador retriever's training was to sense when the demons of war had invaded Wade Baker's dreams.
"I woke up with Honor standing on my chest, licking my face," the Gulf War veteran once told an interviewer. He tried to push his service dog away, but Honor persisted.
"He was stopping the nightmare for me," Baker said.
And so, when he saw his master lying in the flag-draped casket, Honor pushed through the clutch of weeping family members, reared up and tried to climb in. Unable to comfort Baker, the lanky black dog curled up beneath the coffin.
For Baker, the long nightmare was finally over. Yet Honor was still on duty.
Baker's quarter-century battle with post-traumatic stress disorder ended on Aug. 19, when officers responding to an alleged hostage situation at a little church in the western North Carolina mountains answered his gunfire with a hail of bullets.
Besides, suffering in silence was the "manly" thing to do.
During the mid-1990s, Baker served back-to-back tours in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. He began drinking and flouting authority.
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