Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
A Delaware soldier needed to raise $3,000 to bring a friendly cat home from Afghanistan. In two days, he raised $8,000
In just two days, donations to get Sully the kitten home to Seaford have burst past the $3,000 goal for a single cat, reaching nearly $8,000 by early Wednesday. Nowzad, in Kabul, is Afghanistan's only animal rescue.
A portion of donations to Nowzad at this Fundrazr.com page are earmarked for Sully's care and transportation. Extra funds will help the clinic's operations and transportation for other military pet adoptees.
Dogs and cats have always been a great source of comfort for soldiers.
Sgt. Stubby, the terrier mutt, alerted soldiers to poison gas and incoming artillery shells in World War I. Tiddles the cat was on several British ships, logging over 30,000 miles at sea during his career. Both animals retired to a home with a soldier.
Nowadays, it's more common than ever for soldiers to bring home pets adopted while deployed. In fact, a Delawarean in Afghanistan is raising money to bring home his buddy, Sully the cat.
When Dan met Sully
Dan Brissey is on his fourth overseas tour as part of the National Guard. He started in the military later in life than most. When he joined in 2000, at age 31, he was one of the oldest in his basic training class. He spent a year working at the Pentagon as military police immediately following 9/11.
Now 50, all of Brissey's children are grown and he's coming up on retirement. Following deployment, in January, he'll return to his wife and home in Seaford.
Brissey is stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital and largest city, working as an engineer at a construction site. He noticed an orange kitten one day in a corner of the compound.
"I immediately recognized her as part of a litter of four I had seen around. She was the only one that made it," Brissey said.
While stray cats are plentiful in Kabul and around Brissey's compound, many of them avoid humans.
"I know from experience that a lot of these kittens are feral. I'm never able to get close to them," he said. "But I'm an animal lover and if I see a kitten I want to pet a kitten. So I got down on my knees and she crawled right up to me and put her paw on my leg."
Brissey became pretty attached to the cat he called Sully. He couldn't leave her in Afghanistan, so he started trying to make arrangements to get her to Seaford. To do that, he needs to raise money through the clinic.
Saving war dogs and cats
Nowzad is the only animal rescue in Afghanistan, as far as its founder, Pen Farthing, knows. Since the nonprofit's 2007 founding, Farthing and his volunteers have assisted over 1,000 soldiers in transporting their front-line pets back home.
The name comes from the small Afghan town of Now Zad, where Farthing himself once served in the British military. It was there that he broke up a dog fight and became fast friends with one of the dogs, which he called Nowzad. He later learned the words translated to "newborn," and thought it a fitting name for the first animal rescue of its kind in Afghanistan.
Nowzad operates a small clinic and shelter in Kabul, where there are about 140 dogs and 40 cats.
"There has been no form of stray animal control in Afghanistan now for nearly 40 years, because of various ongoing conflicts," Farthing said. "There are stray dogs on every single street corner."
Farthing lives in Kabul for much of the year and picked up Sully himself to take her to the clinic.
"Our senior vet, he's there every day. He looks after her and gives her cuddles," he said. "As soon as funding is raised, Sully will be headed to the U.S."
Funding is Nowzad's biggest challenge. To get a cat to the U.S., it generally costs $3,000 or more and for a dog, up to $5,000.
"It sounds like, and it is, a horrendous amount of money. Airlines charge a premium, unfortunately. They don't give any discounts," Farthing said. "But when you think about a soldier that's been on the front lines for years, away from family and friends, that animal has probably been one of the only positive things throughout the whole process."
Sully fits, so Sully sits. (Photo via Fundrazr)
The price tag does, however, provide a sort of screening.
"We don't want to send animals back to the U.S. that aren't going to be cared for, so we ask the soldiers to make a financial commitment through fundraising," said Farthing.
Brissey is fully on-board for the fundraising and has already raised about $1,000. The hardened soldier turns into a pile of mush when he talks about Sully.
"Have you seen a picture of her? She's just adorable," he said.
He recently got an update on Sully from the Nowzad clinic.
"She's about three months old now. She's doing really good. They vaccinated her and she'll get spayed at the clinic, too," Brissey said. "I just want to do what I can for her. Take care of her and give her a good home."
Click here to donate.
©2019 Dover Post, Del. - Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"