After a Department of Defense Inspector General report found the Army mistreated military working dogs after they returned to the states from their deployments, the service announced Monday that, well, yeah, you got us, we fucked up. Trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, the Army’s military working dogs and their handlers deployed to battlefields abroad, forged bonds in training and under fire, and saved lives by identifying roadside bombs. But when it came time for the service to shutter its bomb-dog program, some of those canines returned to the states and were forgotten.
A U.S. service member was killed in Iraq when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle, the Department of Defense announced on Oct. 1, the 13th American combat death in Operation Inherent Resolve, the three-year-old campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and the 8th fatality in 2017 alone.
In 2007, an improvised explosive device explosion in Aloos, Iraq, left Marine Sgt. Christopher Lawrence with life-threatening injuries, a severely injured left arm and a badly mangled right leg. In 2008 Lawrence made the decision to have his injured leg amputated and was told that he might never walk again without assistance.
With six Oscars and nine nominations, Kathryn Bigelow’s 2008 thriller “The Hurt Locker” is one of the most critically acclaimed war movies to come out of the Global War On Terror. The film follows a team of Army explosive ordnance disposal technicians in Iraq, where they wage a seemingly endless war against the preferred weapon of their enemies: the improvised explosive device.
Several days after Army Spc. Andrew Brown and his military working dog, Rocky, were injured in an improvised explosive device on Dec. 3, a photo of Rocky wearing a Purple Heart Medal went viral. While it’s unclear who placed the award on Rocky, since the photo was uploaded to their unit’s Facebook page on Dec. 9, it has been shared more than 134,000 times and has more than 99,000 likes.
On July 15, 2012, Marine Staff Sgt. James Sides’ life was dramatically changed when he was badly injured during his second tour to Afghanistan. Sides served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician and was attempting to disarm an improvised explosive device when it detonated underneath him.