Recovery of a Hero Ch. 13byRoadbug©
The Hero's Duty
This story is a work of fiction only. Any chance resemblance to actual people or events is purely accidental.
Special Thanks to Desert Pirate for editing.
We took it easy for the next two days, and then when it was time to get ready to go, Ellen, Nancy and I put on our chosen outfits. When we walked out to where Uncle Dar was waiting with George, Uncle Dar said, "Oh my god. They're not twins, they're triplets."
We all three blushed at that comment and then George said, "Yes, they may very well be but you only get two of them, so don't get greedy. The other is already taken, and even if you beat me, you still have Janice to worry about and she don't fight fair. Take that from me."
Uncle Dar laughed and said, "Well I don't know about that, but I do know that with two such lovely daughters I won't be lonely ever again. Also, since they're friends with the one you're claiming I won't have to worry about her being around either. I bet she spends more time with me than with you."
George said, "No bet. I don't like to loose, and that's definitely a fools bet if I ever heard one. I do have an advantage though. You have to feed em . You know, on second thought, take the third too. You want em you feed em."
I said, "I think we're being picked on. What say we do something about it?"
Ellen said, "I think we can get to the couch before them. Think those three cushions are enough?"
Nancy said, "I think so." She looked at me and said, "How bout you?"
"I don't know for sure, but lets find out," I said.
We ran up to the couch and grabbed the cushions and threw them at Uncle Dar and George.
Uncle Dar said, "On second thought, you keep em all George. They play much to ruff for an old fart like me."
George laughed and said, "Too late. You already promised em and I think if you try to back out we'll both be in even more trouble. Maybe if we ran, we might escape."
"Yea, right, " Uncle Dar said. "I'm going to run. Coward. Deserting your comrade at his time of need like that. I should out to report you to the VFW for that."
George said, "Wouldn't do you any good. I'm not a member."
"Drat," said Uncle Dar. "Well, I think I'll just surrender to their mercy and let you get beat upon."
We all laughed at that and I walked up behind Uncle Dar and pushed him to the door. The others followed us and we went on to the family room where Erica and Janny were already waiting.
I saw that they were wearing matching dresses too. Thiers were a dark green color that matched their eyes. I used to envy them the green eyes, but now I had two friends who like me were blond and blue eyed. I looked like mom, and my sisters looked more like dad. He was dark haired with green eyes.
While the girls and I were getting seated to wait for Megan to show up with Shelly and Sandra, the phone rang. "George picked it up and said, Carson and Brandt residence. Oh, hello Mr. Reach. Yes, I'll tell him, and thank you."
He hung up and turned to Uncle Dar and said, Mr. Reach is going to meet us at the court house and he's bringing Ms. Harrison with him. He said that he'd be willing to testify as to your fitness to adopt these two girls. He also said that Ms. Harrison would do the same."
"Good," said Uncle Dar. "It's always nice to know that the heavy artillery is available if you need it."
"Amen," said George.
Uncle Dar asked Janny, "Do you have all my paper work from the psych evaluation?"
"Yes," said Janny. "I have copies of everything that was requested by the court, and George's lawyer friend also has them."
I said, "That means we're ready I hope."
"As ready as we can be," said George. "I don't think that we'll have any problems though. After what happened to the CPS woman, I doubt that they'd want to start any more trouble about Dar's fitness to adopt two girls. He has more than sufficient means to support them, and as of right now he's renting his room and their rooms from us."
"Renting?" I asked. "Why is he renting them?"
To show his ability to provide adequate shelter for them in a fit environment," said Janny. "We signed a five year lease agreement with him yesterday when the lawyer was here. The first year is already paid in advance and we have receipts and deposits to show that the transaction is real and not just on paper."
"Oh," I said. "So he's renting his rooms from us is just for the court showing that he's providing proper shelter and such?"
"Exactly," said George. "Our lawyer recommended it and said that a long term lease would look good too. We've also listed available facilities that they can use as tenants while they live here. The fact that Dar can do his physical therapy here and having a certified nurse to monitor the health of the girls helps too. That's how we managed to keep you so easily."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
George said, "The fact that we have a small gym and a swimming pool for recreation and the fact that there is a registered nurse living here was a telling argument for us to keep custody of you. CPS tried to say we were too young at the time, but Janny had just gotten her qualification as a nurse."
"We demanded that CPS provide the same or better for a foster home for you if they took you away," continued George. "We also stated that Janny was your eldest sister and as a nurse, was more than adequately qualified to care for you. They dropped the case and the judge awarded us permanent custody of you and Erica."
We've also got a teacher who is certified to instruct both Physical Education and Mathematics at the local High School. With her and two police officers willing to testify to his fitness, I don't think we'll have any trouble at all," finished George.
I said, "Well that's good to know. I was worried about what happened with the CPS woman, but now I'm much more confident. I'd hate to loose two of my best friends because someone decided that Uncle Dar wasn't good enough to be a father for them."
"I understand, Sally," George said. "I wouldn't put it past them to try again, but this time we're ready. They don't have a chance if they try anything now."
I trusted George. If he said that we would win, I knew that we would. I also knew that if it came to a fight, the losers wouldn't like it.
Shortly after that, Megan showed up with Shelly and Sandra. We all went out and piled into her van and took off for the court house.
When we got there, Megan used that disabled placard again, and parked close to the entrance where we met Inspector Reach and Agent Harrison. They shook hands with all of us, and Agent Harrison said to me, "So, how do you like your two new house guests?"
I said, "I like it a lot. It's nice to have someone my own age around and I've got two now. We help each other take care of Uncle Dar and have lots of fun besides. And now that we can use the pool again, we have even more fun. Thank you for your help."
"Don't mention it," she said. I like your Uncle Dar too. I know a bit about him that I can't talk about, but I can tell you he's a brave man and a good one."
"You didn't have to tell me that," I said. "After what he did for George and me, I knew first hand. I don't know of many that would have done what he did for both of us. George told us how he got those medals in Iraq too. The five of us all wear one for him now."
She said, "Good. Wear them always to honor him."
"I will," I said. "I have mine on a chain and I'm wearing it now."
Take it out where everyone can see it," She said. "Let them know that he's a brave man and that you care about him. Don't hide them."
I pulled the chain with the Navy cross out of my dress and let it hang down where everyone could see it. I didn't know whether I was supposed to or not, but decided that if Agent Harrison said it was ok, it must be. The other four saw what I'd done and did the same with theirs.
We went into the court house with Ellen and Nancy pushing Uncle Dar and the rest following. Inside we met George's lawyer who took us to the court room where the hearing would be held.
When we went in, I saw that the room was empty except for us. I asked the lawyer if that was normal and he said, "For this time of day, yes. We're first on the docket and we won't be more than a few minutes most likely. I expect this to be a formality only since I have so many witnesses to testify on Mr. DeShade's behalf."
"Good," I said. "I hope this is as easy as you say."
He smiled and said, "I wouldn't lie about something like this. If George says that he's fit, then I'm satisfied. I've know George for several years and he's never been wrong about somebody."
Just then, a man wearing a police uniform came in and said, "All rise. The Honorable Judge Jameson Presiding." We all stood up and the judge walked in. He sat down and said, "Be seated."
"Bailiff," he continued, "call the first case."
The bailiff called Uncle Dar forward and he and the lawyer went up to the podium in front of the judge.
The judge said, "Are the two minor girls present?"
The lawyer said, "Yes your honor. Also present are several witnesses to testify on behalf of the petitioner for the adoption."
The judge said, "I don't think that will be necessary. I only want to ask a few questions of the two girls in question and Sally Brandt and Mr. DeShade himself. If I need more information, I'll ask for further witnesses."
"Very well your honor. Who do you wish to speak to first?"
"I'd like Nancy Tremons to take the stand first. Please call her forward." The lawyer gestured for Nancy to go to the witness stand and sit down. She did so.
The judge looked at her and said, "Since you're a minor, if you wish I can appoint counsel before I question you. Do you wish this?"
"No sir," said Nancy.
"Very well, let the record show that Nancy Tremons does not wish to consult with legal counsel at this time."
"Now then," he continued. "My questions are very simple. Do you want me to grant Mr. DeShade legal custody of you until you reach your legal majority?"
"Yes sir," Nancy answered.
"Would you mind telling me why?" asked the judge.
"Because he cares about what happens to me and he cares about what happens to my cousin Ellen," answered Nancy.
"How do you know this?" asked the judge.
"He's the one who helped get us placed with George and Janice Carson so we wouldn't be separated from each other." Nancy started to cry, and said, "Ellen is the only family I have left and Uncle Dar wanted us to be together."
The judge looked at the medal she was wearing and asked her what it was for.
Nancy said, "It's one of the ones Uncle Dar earned in Iraq last spring when he was wounded rescuing George. All five of us girls wear one of the medals he was given to honor him and to show that we all love him. We also wear them because of how he saved Sally from drowning."
The judge looked at the medal again and asked, "What medals exactly did he earn in Iraq?"
Nancy said, "This one is a Bronze star. He also got a Silver Star from the army and a Navy Cross from the Navy, plus two Purple hearts for the wounds he got there."
The judge said, "I wasn't aware of that. I knew that he'd been injured there, but not the circumstances." He looked at the lawyer and said, "Can you verify this?"
The lawyer said, "Not at this time. I didn't see the need to get copies of the orders awarding the citations in question so I don't have them at this time."
Inspector Reach interrupted just then and said, "Your honor, may I approach the bench and show you my credentials?"
"You may," responded the judge.
Inspector Reach walked up to the judges stand and handed him his ID folder with his NCIS ID and his badge.
He said, "If necessary, I can provide the needed documentation to the court but if my word is good enough for now I'll vouch for the authenticity of the citations in question. I will also state for the record that Mr. DeShade is entitled to a total of three Silver Stars besides the one here today."
"He has also been given several commendations for actions under fire from when he was originally in the service. Most of what he did is classified, but I will state that he earned each of them."
The judge said, "Let the record show that Senior Investigator Reach for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has stated that Mr. DeShade is in fact entitled to a total of four Silver Stars, one Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for various actions of bravery under fire."
Inspector Reach said, "That's not quite accurate. He is also entitled to two more purple hearts from past actions."
The judge said, "Please amend the record to show that Mr. DeShade is entitled to a total of four Purple Hearts for past actions in the military
He smiled at Nancy and said, "You may step down now, I'm all through with you. I'd like to question Ellen Tremons now."
Ellen went up to the witness stand and sat down. "Do you wish legal counsel before we continue?" he asked her.
Ellen said, "No sir."
"Very well then. Let the record show that the minor Ellen Tremons does not wish to speak with counsel at this time."
He asked her, "Do you want Mr. DeShade to adopt you?"
Ellen answered, "Yes sir, I do. I love him very much and I want him to be my father."
The judge said, "Very well. So, what medal did you get if I may ask?"
Ellen held up the Silver star and said, "The Silver Star Uncle Dar was awarded in Iraq."
"Very well, that's all I have for you. You may step down." he turned toward the lawyer again and said, "I'd like to question Sally Brandt now please."
I went up to the witness stand and sat down. The judge again asked, "Do you wish to speak with counsel before I question you?"
I said, "No your honor. I don't believe I need to."
"Let the record show that Sally Brandt has declined legal counsel."
He turned back to me and said, "My questions for you are fairly simple since I understand that you've spent the most time with Mr. DeShade after he was released from the Seattle Veterans Hospital to the care of your family while he's been recovering from his injuries."
"What I'd like to know," he continued "is this. Do you think he'd be dangerous to Ellen and Nancy Tremons?"
"Never," I said. "He'd never harm them and he would risk his life to protect them."
"How do you know this?" asked the judge.
"Because of how he risked his life to save George and how he almost died saving mine after I fell on the diving board of our pool and fell in," I said. " I was unconscious from the fall and he tore up the fence we had around it and went straight into the pool after me."
"When he hit the bottom he tore the back free from the wheel chair and swam to me and pulled me to the steps on the shallow end and did CPR on me while he held me in his lap. He reopened the wound on his left leg and almost bled to death as a result of that."
"I think he would do the same for Ellen and Nancy, or my friends Sandra and Shelly too," I continued. I don't think he'd hesitate whatever the cost to himself. That's why I'm wearing his Navy Cross. To honor the man who saved both my brother-in-law's life and my own." I held up the medal.
The judge looked at it for a second and said, "I am familiar with the incident. I'm required to ascertain the fitness of an adoptive parent though. I've always found that the best source of information is the children being adopted and in this case, the one who's had the most contact with the prospective parent. Very well, you may step down."
He looked at the attorney and said, "I bet your happy to get an easy one for a change. My decision is this. I grant Mr. DeShade custody of the two minor children, Ellen and Nancy Tremons. From this day forward, sir, you are responsible for their well being. I wish you well sir and congratulations."
Uncle Dar grabbed Georges arm and stood up and said, "Thank you your honor. I will do my best by these two girls."
He slowly sat back down, and I saw him wince with pain as he did so. The judge saw it to and asked, "Are you alright, sir? If you need medical attention say so."
Uncle Dar looked at him and said, "I'm still a bit tender from the surgery that removed the last bullet fragment from my leg. I shouldn't have stood up is all."
The judge said, "Very well. Let the record show that Eldarin Clarence DeShade is now the legal father of record for Ellen and Nancy Tremons. Court is adjourned."
He stood up and said, "Congratulations, by the way. I hope every thing works out for you and your new family."
Uncle Dar said, "Thank you your Honor."
Ellen and Nancy ran up to him and hugged him saying, "Thank you your Honor. Thank you very much."
He hugged them back and said, "Your very welcome. Some days it's really good to be a judge." With that, he went out the back door.
We all filed out of the court room and went back to the van. The two police men got into a patrol car and drove away waving as they passed. George's lawyer friend shook hands with him and Uncle Dar and said, "It really is nice to get an easy one now and then. Good luck to you sir, and thank you George. This one is on me." He left too after that.
When we were all in the van, Uncle Dar said to Megan, "Can you take me to that place I asked you about now? I'd like to celebrate with my daughters and their friend now. As a matter of fact, I'd like to take all three of their friends."
Megan said, "Now how come they're so lucky and all I get is to play taxi driver?"
Uncle Dar said, "You have a few other passengers to take care of first. I'd like to have dinner with my daughters and their friends, but after you take the others home, your invited to come join us."
"Oh yea?" responded Megan. "Just what do I get for picking you up again?"
"Desert," said Uncle Dar. "I just want some time with the girls before you ship me back home and lock me up again. I haven't had a chance since before Sally's accident and I'd like this one time to celebrate with just them."
Megan smiled and said, "I was just teasing you. I'll take you where ever you want to go any time you say. Don't tell them kids, but I love them too. They're special, but I don't want em ta know I think so. Might go to their heads."
Uncle Dar laughed and said, "To late. The whole Cheerleaders team knows your just an old softy."
She laughed to and said, "You're probably right, but I got to keep up appearances at least a little."
She laughed again, and drove toward the middle of town. We went to a real nice restaurant and George helped Uncle Dar out of the van and into his chair.
George said, "You sure you don't need help? You're a bit out numbered, you know."
Uncle Dar laughed and said, "You looking for a free meal again?"
George laughed too and said, "Can't blame a guy for trying. Ok, we'll see you when you get home." He turned to the rest of us and said, "Be careful with this old man. He's kinda fragile now that he's so old."
George laughed again, and got back into the van. Megan took off and Sandra and Shelly grabbed the chair, one on each side.
They looked at the rest of us and said, "Our turn."
Nancy, Ellen and I laughed and said, "Ok, your turn."
I said, "But when we come back out, it's my turn."
We went inside and Uncle Dar told the woman at the Hostess station, "Reservation for DeShade please. I have two extra's, though."
She looked in her reservation book and said, Yes, DeShade, party of four and it's no problem for the other two." She picked up six menus and said, "Right this way please." She led us to a secluded table and helped Uncle Dar move from his wheelchair to a chair at the table.
He sat down at the table and said, "Ladies, please be seated." I blushed at the 'Ladies' part but sat down across the table from him. Nancy sat at his right and Ellen sat at his left. Sandra and Shelly sat next to me, one on each side.