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On National K9 Veterans Day, Salute Some Of America’s Finest Military Working Dogs
Monday, March 13, marks National K9 Veterans Day, a day to honor and commemorate the service and sacrifices of American military and working dogs throughout history. According to American Humane, it was 75 years ago today that the U.S. Army first established the War Dog Program, or “K9 Corps,” to train man’s best friend to become the military’s best canine asset. The dogs of war who have served alongside soldiers throughout history aren’t just good dogs — they’re great dogs.
The most well-known working dogs include Smoky, the female Yorkshire Terrier rescued from a foxhole by Cpl. Bill Wynne during World War II who visited injured soldiers and helped string communication lines between military outposts in the Pacific Theater; Gander, the enormous Newfoundland “promoted” to sergeant of an Royal Canadian rifle team who terrified the bejesus out of unsuspecting Japanese soldiers and saved his unit by literally playing fetch with a Japanese hand grenade; and Lex, the German Shepherd, who faithfully served alongside owner Cpl. Dustin Lee until the corporal’s death in Iraq in 2007. And who can forget Sgt. Stubby, the original war dog:
The four-legged trailblazer earned fame for his battlefield heroism while attached to the Army’s 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th (Yankee) Division, during World War I. A stray at the time, Stubby met his best friend and handler, Cpl. Robert Conroy, during training in Virginia. Smuggling Stubby aboard the SS Minnesota in October 1917, the two set sail for France.
On the battlefield, Stubby distinguished himself with the uncanny ability to detect incoming artillery, mustard gas, and even enemy soldiers. The war dog once latched onto a German infiltrator that was dressed as an American soldier. He was battle tested, even sustaining injuries in combat, but it was Stubby’s friendly demeanor among his fellow soldiers that endeared him to his unit.
Photo via Wikimedia CommonsSgt. Stubby visits the White House to call on President Calvin Coolidge in November 1924.
As of 2015, there were about 2,500 war dogs operating in service of the U.S. military, with around deployed 700 overseas with U.S. troops at any given time. Below, we pay tribute to some of America’s finest canine warriors. And remember: When things get tough, cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war:
Photo via DoDTarzan, a German Shepard military working dog assigned to the 100th Military Working Dog Detachment practices controlled aggression with his handler, Sgt. Jessey E. Csech at the Panzer Kaserne military working dog compound near Boeblingen, Germany, Feb. 23, 2017.
DoD photoU.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Macdonald, dog handler, poses for a photo with military working dog Ali at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2013.
DoD photoPfc. Heaven Southard, an Army military working dog handler with the Directorate of Emergency Services, Area Support Group - Kuwait, releases her military working dog “Jerry” during a demonstration of MWD capabilities at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on March 7, 2017.
DoD photoElmo, 628th Security Forces military working dog, sits beside his handler Senior Airman Trey Weston, 628th Security Forces military working dog handler, before starting his workday, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, Aug. 17, 2016.
DoD photoArmy Spc. Ian Long, a military working dog handler from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, reassures Lara, his military working dog, while she is being examined by U.S. Army Central medical personnel Dec. 19, 2016 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
DoD photoU.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Woodall, 820th Base Defense Squadron military working dog handler, poses with her dog, Bak, Feb. 19, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.
Photo via DoDJoker, a 4-year-old military working dog assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama, grabs hold of Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, military working dog handler, 483rd Working Dog Detachment, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, during a demonstration for students at Paradise Valley High School, Phoenix, Feb. 8.
DoD photoLance Cpl. Joel A. Garcia runs a box search with his military working dog Raider at Combat Town, Okinawa, Japan, Jan. 24, 2017.
DoD photoU.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Glover, 99th Security Forces Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, rewards his military working dog Prada for discovering hidden explosives by giving her a toy, Nov. 10, 2016.
DoD photoJop, a military working dog with the 49th Security Forces Squadron, poses for the camera during a “play time” session at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Dec. 7, 2016.
Who's a good boy? You're all very good boys.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.