Stray Dog story line
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall lives in Southern Missouri where he owns and operates the At Ease RV Park. After seven years of living with four small dogs as his only companions, he is adjusting to life with his wife, Alicia, who is newly arrived from Mexico. Anchored by his small dogs and big bikes, Stray Dog seeks to strike a balance between his commitment to his family, neighbors, biker brotherhood, and fellow veterans. As part of the legacy of fighting in the Vietnam War, he wrestles with the everlasting puzzle of conscience, remorse, and forgiveness.
With Stray Dog as our guide, we experience the restlessness of ex-warriors as he tries to make peace with what he can’t change and weathers the incomprehension of those who have never been to war. Every year, Stray Dog joins thousands of bikers on a cross-country ride to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC for a series of veteran rituals. He hurtles down America’s highways, staving off specters of post-traumatic stress and haunting memories while forging deep bonds along the way. From the back of his bike, Alicia tries to decipher a totally unfamiliar biker culture. Their intimacy is pushed to new limits as Alicia and Stray Dog share the pleasures and tensions of life on the road.
Back at home, Stray Dog navigates the pressures of everyday life including the economic survival of his grandchildren and the increasing poverty of his community. The arrival of Alicia’s twin sons from Mexico throws into harsh relief the current state of opportunity that newcomers seek and that America can or cannot offer. Stray Dog continues to tally the cost of war, bearing witness to the soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan: both the dead and the living. The two families become more entwined and find lyrical ways of coexisting. The questions of contemporary American life loom larger and thornier, leaving us to wonder what is next for Stray Dog and his blended, multi-ethnic family.