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Bienz is another one of Owens' "success stories," the sort of soldier the general is fond of pointing out. She, too, enlisted as a private, and at first was a weekend-only member. Now she works as a full-time, civil service employee of the Guard; she has her commission and a career.
"There are so many good people in the Guard," Owens says. "Those are the people that ought to be written about."
During the hearings, a lot of people commended the general, too. Some of these were political allies, such as Mofford, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and Senator James Henderson. But there were others, Guard sergeants, ham-radio operators and junior high school principals, who testifed on behalf of the general. When you're the general, you make friends as well as enemies.
Bienz pauses for a moment, and drifts away from her tour-guide patter. Near the door to the "war room," her mind returns to the general and his hearings. She remembers the awful silence, and his tears. "What hurt him the most," she says, "was the personal tone of the attacks. Every organization has its problems--everybody who leads is going to make some decisions that not everyone will agree with. But they all went after him. It was pretty ugly.
"After all, he's not just a general. He's a person, too."
A person under siege.
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