It has been almost five years since Harry Whittington took an errant blast from then-Vice President Dick Cheney's shotgun while on a quail hunting trip in Texas. The pellets perforated his face, neck and chest, causing health complications for the Texas trial lawyer both in the immediate wake of the incident and in the period after. A total of 200 bits of lead shrapnel entered Whittington's body that February evening in 2006 -- 30 still remain -- and out of it, he's never even gotten a personal apology from Cheney.
The Washington Post interviewed Whittington recently, a man still marked by birdshot, but who seems remarkably at peace with the fateful episode.
The Post reports:
Those "kind things" don't amount to an apology, however, not even one like Whittington delivered to the public and the White House after being discharged from the hospital in 2006.Despite his scars, Whittington bears no ill will toward Cheney. He calls him "a very capable and honorable man" and adds, "He's said some very kind things to me."
"My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week," Whittington said at the time.
In an interview with Fox News around the time of the shooting, Cheney said that the image of Whittington falling is something he'll "never be able to get out of [his] mind" and that it was "one of the worst days of [his] life."
Many unanswered questions arose after the 2006 shooting, including the puzzling fact that it took 18 hours for the incident to be reported. Karl Rove's connection to the series of events following the shooting provided another intriguing element to the sensational story.