In this era of rockets, missiles and space travel, the U.S. Army's "Matt" Dillon is?
In this era of rockets, missiles and space travel, the U.S. Army's "Matt" Dillon is helping to keep alive the unique art of blacksmithing.
"Matt Dillon" - Army style, is Sergeant First Class William C. Dillon, a 36-year old veteran from Denver, Colorado. He is one of three veterinary technicians assigned to the Veterinary Service of the U.S. Army Dispensary, Pentagon. They are responsible for providing the necessary hoofwear maintenance on the 29 horses of the Army's 3rd Infantry (Old Guard) Caisson Section stationed at Fort Myer, Virginia.
Working out of the Veterinary Office at Fort Myer, blacksmith Dillon calls upon a reservoir of experience in blacksmithing and a "few simple tools of the trade" to provide perfect fitting hoofwear for the horses of the Old Guard.
Using nippers to trim hooves, pullers for removing old shoes, the rasp to smooth rough edges of the hoof, the hammer, anvil and the forge, Sergeant Dillon or one of his fellow blacksmiths, reshoe each of the 29 horse at least once every six weeks.
Since these horses are constantly in the public eye - participating in parades, pageants and military funerals - Sergeant Dillon and his companions make sure that the horses always look their best.
"Horse, being slightly vain," says Sergeant Dillon, "like to look their best when appearing in public."