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The dogs of war!

Updated on November 25, 2013

Honoring canine military heroes throughout history!

This is Sargeant Stubby, hero and veteran of WWI, and perhaps the most decorated War Dog in history.

Working along side brave soldiers, K9 Corps have helped soldiers since WW I fight for our freedom - saving many, many lives, with no regard for their own.

This lens honors those canine military heroes and is dedicated to thousands of dogs that have given their lives to military service over the years.

Photos of archived war dogs including Stubby courtesy of the Smithsonian.

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Cairo, the four-Legged hero of Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

On May 1, 2011, 79 Navy Seals and one four-legged soldier, named Cairo, stormed the Osama bin Laden compound and hideout in Abbottabod, Pakistan. The founder of the al-Qaeda organization, reported responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets,was killed during that raid.

Although the names of the 79 US Navy SEALS will not be released for their protection, the dog in question (most likely a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, military sources say) remained a mystery until May 7th, six days after the attack, when President Barack Obama visited Fort Campbell, one of the nation's largest military bases, to meet privately with members of the assault force that carried out the mission to get bin Laden, thanking each one individually for their "heroic and selfless service" to the country. That's when the name of the 80th four-legged Navy SEAL was released.

It isn't a surprise that one of the members of the platoon was a dog. Dogs have played a significant part in military history for over 100 years.

As of 2010 the US Army had over 2,800 active military dogs deployed and they numbers continue to grow as their vital assistance becomes an ever increasing asset. Today, classified as more than just 'equipment,' Military Working Dogs (MWDs) are outfitted with equipment of their own -- a range of specialized gear that includes Doggles (protective eye wear), body armor, life vests, gas masks, long-range GPS-equipped vests, and high-tech canine "flak jackets," according to Rebecca Frankel is deputy managing editor of ForeignPolicy.com.

We salute Cairo and the 79 other brave US Navy SEALS that participated in the raid on May 1, 2011.

Photo courtesy of ForeignPolicy.com and K9 Storm/U.S. Navy

A tribute to war dogs!

Meet Chips!

This is Chips, the most decorated war dog from World War II.

Chips, a German Shepherd, Collie, Husky mix was donated by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, New York, and trained at Front Royal, Virginia in 1942. He was among the dogs to be shipped overseas and assigned to the 3d Infantry Division, serving with that unit in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.

His assignments included sentry duty at the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in Casablanca in January 1943. Although trained as a sentry dog, Chips was reported on one occasion by members of Company I, 30th Infantry Regiment, to have broken away from his handler and attacked a pillbox containing an enemy machine gun crew in Sicily. He seized one man and forced the entire crew to surrender. He was also credited by the units to which he was assigned as having been directly responsible for capture of numerous enemies by alerting to their presence.

In recognition of his service Chips was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, both were later revoked.

In 1993 Disney produced a TV movie about Chips called "Chips the War Dog".

Chips the War Dog and more on VHS and DVD!

K-9 troops from the past!

Meet Stubby!

In 1916, the United States was deep in a conflict that changed the world. A time of innocence and idealism would collapse in the face of WWI.

As areas of sporting events, education and otherwise peaceful intentions were pressed into service by the military, a group of students participated in military training in Yale Field and were joined by a charming, happy Bull Terrier, one we would quickly identify as a Pit Bull today.

Stubby, as he came to be known for his chunky body and good sense of humor, was an endearing mascot and treasured companion, so when the young men were reassigned to Newport News for final training before deployment, they couldn't abandon him.

It is difficult to say how many soldiers returned home due to Stubby's alerts over gas attacks (he could smell the gas in time for the soldiers to get their masks on) or when he identified and captured (by the seat of his pants, no less) a German spy.

In 1926, after a life worthy of several movies, Stubby died. His remains were preserved and are still maintained (along with his "uniform" made by the French ladies and his medals) by the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, DC.

From WW II!

More about the dogs of war!

Chips and Stubby are just two of the thousands of dogs that have given their lives to military service over the years. We honor our brave brothers and sisters who valiantly served their country.

Here are a few links for learning more about military canines throughout history!

Learn about Smoky!

In January 1945, Smoky protected the lives of 250 men and saved 40 US war planes from being destroyed by Japanese bombers. Smoky's 89-year-old owner, Bill Wynne, a United States veteran of the war in the Pacific, accepted the PDSA Certificate for animal bravery or devotion to duty.

Dogs of War is brought to you by...

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A salute to Cpl. Kory D. Wiens and Cooper

The first military working dog team killed in action together since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were laid to rest together July 18, 2007..

Cpl. Kory D. Wiens, 20, of the 94th Mine Dog Detachment, 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and his partner, Cooper, were killed July 6 by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Muhammad Sath, Iraq. They had been in Iraq since January.

The cremated remains of Wiens and Cooper, a Labrador retriever, were buried together at Salt Creek Cemetery in Wiens' hometown of Dallas, Ore., at the request of his family, said Master Sgt. Matt McHugh, the family's casualty assistance officer.

"Kory referred to Cooper as his son, that's how much of a team they were," McHugh said. (Read more)

The war dogs of Vietnam!

Meet a Marine Corporal and his war dog!

Iraq war dog loses his handler but gains a family

From Rusty Dornin

CNN

(CNN) December 20, 2007 -- Lex attended the funeral of his best friend in March, playing with the 20-year-old Marine's younger brother away from the crowd. He was beside Cpl. Dustin Lee when Lee was killed in a mortar attack in Falluja.

Cpl. Dustin Lee, slain in Iraq in March, with his dog, Lex, who is going to live with Lee's family.

Wounded himself, Lex didn't want to leave Lee's side after the attack -- fellow Marines had to pull him away from the young man's body so medics could do their work.

Although some shrapnel remains in his body, Lex recovered from his wounds and returned to duty at the Marines' Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, to await a new assignment.

On Friday, Lex gets that new assignment -- retirement to Lee's family home in Quitman, Mississippi, where the 8-year-old bomb-sniffing German Shepherd will live out the rest of his life.

Jerome Lee, the young Marine's father, lobbied the Marines hard for months to adopt the dog. Marine officials initially told Lee that it would be no problem to get the dog. But persuading the service to give up Lex before the dog's mandatory retirement at age 10 proved to be a challenge.

(Read more.)

A moving ceremoney of the dedication of the Riverside War Dog Memorial. - The first official memorial honoring the dogs of war!

Bark your thoughts...

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    • profile image

      Sainalcute 2 years ago

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    • profile image

      AnimalHouse 4 years ago

      A very very nice lens about the heroic deeds of our four-legged friends. Really like this lens. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      chickie99 4 years ago

      the dogs used during the war in the pacific are unsung hero's

    • profile image

      WinWriter 4 years ago

      This lens brought tears to my eyes. You are so right that we should honor these brave four-legged heroes. *Angel Blessed *

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What a wonderful tribute to the ever-faithful, four-legged soldiers. My beloved father trained service dogs and handlers in the Air Force for 21 years. He retired in 1969, from Lackland AFB. This is the first tribute I have seen on the web, and I am overwhelmed.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      Now we know why dogs are called " Man's Best Friend". Awesome lens, it brought tears to my eyes.

    • LionElectric profile image

      LionElectric 5 years ago

      Good story. Im featuring your lens on mine @ dogs-that-heal-dogs-that-kill

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Thank you for stopping by my lens and letting me know about your great story of canine heroes! I love it and am proud to add it to my Field of Honor lens. Thank you ~ and SquidAngel blessed! Watch for the angel dust! B : )

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      As one old war dog to another....I salute you!

    • ATTHED LM profile image

      ATTHED LM 5 years ago

      Really good lens. Thanks.

      Here is another story of a brave dog of war, Theo who died in difficult circumstances in Afghanistan recently with his hanlder. I don't think it will work as a link so if you're interested just cut and paste... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/837...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Horrifying to think our military used...then discarded our soldier's partners like old spent ammunition. But...also enlightening to see this video honoring the dogs who gave their lives to protect our nation. thank you for a beautifully put together memorial video.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I couldn't watch the rest of the video after I heard that many of the dogs were left in Vietnam after all they did. I feel sick. There may have been a more positive note later on, but I just couldn't watch anymore. I can't imagine how the men must have felt knowing that they were leaving a well-loved partner behind. I'm sure they didn't do it willingly - at least I hope they didn't. I'm not in the military, nor am I in any immediate danger, but I do know without a doubt in my mind that my German Shepherd would die protecting me and my family any day of the week.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      True Loyalty and Heros>> So why kill them after service???!!!

    • kTerrain1 profile image

      kTerrain1 5 years ago

      I'm going to pick up a new Labrador pup this morning. She's the first dog I'll have owned in 30 years. This is a great lens that shows how much we rely on these wonderful animals and how much we owe so many. Great tribute -- thanks.

    • dawngibson lm profile image

      dawngibson lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for making this lens. People really need to know about this.

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      Fascinating stories! Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • profile image

      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! I ran across some of these stories when I did a research paper in college, great idea to share them!

    • profile image

      CR2000 7 years ago

      Wow what great idea for a lens ... it's well done !!

      Thanks for sharing :)

    • GoPoochYourself profile image

      GoPoochYourself 7 years ago

      Thanks, this is a really interesting subject! I work at a war museum, and this summer they had a bomb sniffing dog demonstration. They hid a fake grenade and the dog was able to find it. It was pretty amazing.

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 9 years ago

      Fascinating! And I thought pigeons got all the glory! P. :)

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 9 years ago from Detroit

      Always love your stuff, and this one is spectacular in topic and content! Welcome to the Masterpiece Movement group, Thor's tickled to see you're still at it!

    • profile image

      JeanRiva 9 years ago

      This is an awesome lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Our often unforgotten heroes, thank you for remembering, another terrific subject and lens! - Kathy

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      This fantastic lens is being featured today at the Giant Squid Community Showcase!

    • profile image

      VetFriends 9 years ago

      Very Cools Lens! Today is June 6th 2008 and 66 years ago the largest sea to land invasion occurred on Normandy Beach in France. Going in this battle was known to be a difficult one but JUST how difficult it proved to be no one could have imagined. The Germans laid out everything they had to protect that beach with floating mines, high gunners, snipers and cannons on the cliffs, barbed wire and land mines. This turned the war in the Allied favor but many were lost. http://www.vetfriends.com has created a WWII remembrance photos page for those brave men of WWII http://www.vetfriends.com/MilitaryPics/index.cfm. Also you can view the casualty memorial for those who paid the ultimate price in protecting our freedom. I urge anyone out there who wants to memorialize a loved one or friend to set up a profile/memorial page for them where you can post photos, insignias and awards. Memorialize that person forever and for possibly millions to see! http://www.vetfriends.com/casualty

    • FourMutts LM profile image

      FourMutts LM 9 years ago

      Awesome lens! Who wouldn't want to go to war with their best friend at their side. 5 Stars!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I LOVE THESE HERO DOGS ,HOW MANY PARENTS WOULD HAVE LOST SONS WITHOUT THE HELP OF THESE DOGS .

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      This is awesome.Peple just don't realize ho great these dogs are.

      Thank's