Duane Ehmer is local to the Harney County Resource Center, he came out to see for himself what was going on…and he stayed with his pony Hellboy to support the Bundy’s and everyone else out there.
Duane is a veteran of the U.S. Military and very proud of his country, but fearful and disappointed in the direction that it is going…which is far from what the founding fathers intended when they set forth the constitution. This is why he stood with his patriotic brothers and sisters, peacefully at The Harney County Resource Center in defense of Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17.
Duane is accompanied with his beautiful Quarter horse Hellboy. Most think that they are just mascots, a figurehead, but they are much more, they keep watch over everyone, keeping them safe from predators. “After all there are cougars and such out here” Duane once told me. They ride the perimeter day and night, it is freezing cold outside all the time but you can usually see Duane out and about atop his buddy with the American flag waving proudly from it’s perch in the saddle. Duane can also be found at all the press conferences in the background holding the flag boldly, proudly and with honor.
Talking to Duane, I found that he was just a good ole’ American Cowboy. He and Hellboy slept outside up until he started to lovingly clean up what was once the old Elliot Wagon Train Stop from 1853. Duane showed me what he had been doing, sweeping and shoveling out rubbish and compiled dirt…rats nests (literally). I looked around and found that it was in horrid disarray, cement forms stored there old parts, gas cans, and if you climbed the neat old ladder to look up into the once hay loft, it was covered with rat feces, bird poop and feathers. Duane was excited to get it all cleaned up and restore it to its former glory. This is historic; our government should be taking care of it. They are not. I want to thank Duane for the time he took to lovingly start to clean up and restore what had been neglected for many years and misused, this SHOWS exactly the heart and fortitude that I saw in this kind and gentle man.
Duane is married with a daughter and he misses them but that is why he is here, to secure freedom for his little girl’s future. He wants to show her the America he knows. One that is free and great. I remember one moment that I saw this man’s gentleness shine through…during the ranchers meeting, a little girl came up to see Hellboy, Duane dismounted and got down on one knee to be at her level and started talking to her about his pony, asking about her and if she had horses. He wasn’t pretending to care, like some adults do, he really wanted to know, and he was really enjoying the conversation. He took time, during a busy time, to make a little girls day…by talking to the cowboy…with the pretty horse…that carried the flag.
It wasn’t easy to get Duane to open up about himself, it was always about others, and how great others were, he is just selfless that way. I don’t think he realizes just what a great asset and how wonderful he is. How important. He is always working. If it wasn’t riding the perimeter, I would see him taking in donations, or running things up to the gate or to the chow hall. He gives, and he gives with his all and from his heart.
When he did open up, it wasn’t about him; it was about his pony, Hellboy, about how he was the star of the show. How he did all the work, he really loves that horse, and you can truly tell that the feeling is mutual. I told him that Hellboy should have a Facebook page; I then asked if I could do that for him, he smiled the biggest smile and gave me his blessing. He thought that his pony deserved that. This man had a huge heart for his horse; I know he has that for all animals…even of the human sort.
Each time I came to the front gate and saw Duane atop Hellboy, holding the American flag proudly, it gave me a sense of pride myself, a sense of right. When I got out of my vehicle, Duane would always smile and nod or wave, if he could, he would ride over…say hi, and Hellboy would give me a little nuzzle or push. Yes, Duane is truly a wonderful person, a wonderful American, as is his pony Hellboy, and the best part is I now call them both my friends.