Honoring veteran war dogs

As we honored our veterans this past Veterans Day, it is good to remember the heroes that saved the lives of many veterans. We owe a great debt of thanks to God, who created the amazing dog.

During World War I, a pit-bull-type dog wandered into the 102nd Infantry Regiment — 26th Division in Connecticut. This American dog named Stubby was trained and served on major battlefields in France. Stubby became a hero and was honored by three presidents. He earned one wound strip and three stripes as the greatest war dog in world history by saving his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks and finding the wounded. He bravely caught a German spy by the seat of his pants, keeping him there until the American troops arrived.

In World War II, it is said that war dogs saved 15,000 men. On D-Day ‘Para Dogs’ flew with the men of the 13th Parachute Battalion Sniper Platoon over Normandy. A German shepherd named Bing parachuted from a plane with a harness, which was used to drop bicycles. He landed in a tree short of the drop zone and was assaulted by mortar enemy fire. He was rescued by his handler out of the tree, and, injured, Bing still managed to lead the men of his patrol safely to their objective, which was to capture Horsa Bridge.

Approximately 4,000 dogs served in Vietnam. These dogs were credited for saving the lives of 10,000 men. Men who handled the dogs said the number was under estimated. In about 87,000 missions, the dogs found 2,000 tunnels and bunkers and helped with enemy captures and 4,000 enemy kills. U.S. Air Force A2C George Bevich Jr., a dog handler, and his dog, Rex, were both killed defending their base in Saigon on Dec. 4, 1966.

A dog named, Cairo, was trained as a U.S. Navy Seal would be trained. He was a member of a U.S. commando team, His mission was to search and secure the perimeter of a house, sniff out explosives and be ready to attack. Cairo was a special member of the team, which successfully raided the house of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Loyal and dependable trained dogs take their place at the solider’s side. They assist on the battlefield faithfully. The are a friend and comforter to lonely soldiers. This is a good time to be grateful for God, our veterans and the faithful dog, which accompany them.

Sue Christian

Watertown

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