8 Heroic Military Veteran Dogs You Should Know

 

Did you know that dogs play a very important role in the military and across all branches? In recognition of Veteran’s Day, we have compiled 8 heroic canine veterans that have served valiantly beside their handlers to keep military men and women safe as well as track down enemies. These dogs range from small terriers to majestic German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, proving it’s spirit, not size that determines bravery.

Photo Creator: STAFF SGT. STACY L. PEARSALL
Credit: COMBAT CAMERA DEPLOYED

 

Photo by Bettmann/CORBIS @usarmy

STUBBY, SERGEANT, ARMY,
WORLD WAR I

Sgt. Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division and was the most decorated dog from World War I. His breed was unclear, but he was thought to be an American Bulldog mix. He was smuggled to France by his owner and then served side by side with him. His roles was to warn soldiers of incoming shells & gas attacks as well as located injured soldiers on the battlefield. It is said he captured a German spy! For his service, he was the only dog promoted to sergeant and he received several medals of honor and met three presidents. Upon retirement, he served as the official mascot of Georgetown University. His remains are held at the Smithsonian Institute.

RAGS, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, ARMY, WORLD WAR II

Rags was discovered in Paris by Private James Donovan and brought back to his Army encampment. Even though Rags was a small, Cairn Terrier mix, he served as a carrier dog taking messages through dangerous battlefields between Allied Troops. During a gas attack, Rags & Donovan were injured. Donovan passed away, but Rags survived and became an American celebrity. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was buried with military honors.

Photo from US Army

GABE, SERGEANT 1ST CLASS, ARMY, IRAQ 

Gabe was rescued from a Texas animal shelter and trained to be a military working dog. A Labrador mix, he was deployed to Iraq where he sniffed out explosives and weapons on 120 combat assignments. He had 26 finds. Gabe served from 2006-2009. He retired with the rank of Sergeant First Class in Texas where he lived out his days with his handler Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck. Gabe received the 2008 Heroic Military Working Dog Award Medal from the American Kennel Club, a national award that included animals from all armed forces, & a American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Award. Gabe passed away in 2013.

LAYKA, ARMY RANGERS, AFGHANISTAN     

ayka, a Belgian Malinois, served with the Army Rangers. Her job was to clear bombed out or abandoned buildings of explosives and enemies. During a tour of Afghanistan in 2012, Layka discovered an enemy combatant in a building and attacked him. She was shot 4 times. She recovered but lost her leg and was retired in 2012 to live with her handler in Georgia. She received the first ever medal for heroism from the 341st Training Squadron which trains dogs for military use. American Humane Society also recognized her as a hero dog in 2016.

Photo from US Army Rangers
Instagram @mpc_layka

Photos from American Humane

Instagram & Facebook @usairforce

 

SUMA L469, AIR FORCE, AFGHANISTAN

Suma L469 served with the Air Force for 9 years with 5 years of that on tour in Afghanistan. His main job was sniffing out explosives and he is credited with saving over 200 military and civilian lives. After his tour, he spent many years training dogs and handlers at Lackland Air Force Base. He retired to Houston, Texas in 2014. In 2017, he competed on America’s Top Dog television show.

CHOPPER, NAVY SEALS, IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN     

Chopper served with the Navy Seals where he was deployed to both Iraq & Afghanistan. His main role was to sniff out bombs and he is credited with saving dozens of American lives. In addition to bombs, he protected his team during tenuous situations. In 2010, he sniffed out Taliban forces in Afghanistan in time for his human team to protect themselves. During his tour, one of his transport vehicles was hit and he suffered head injuries. He did recover and retired in 2012 in San Clemente, CA. Chopper was a German Shepherd and passed away in 2018. There is a bronze statue in his memory at the Veterans Park on Imperial Beach in California.

Photos from American Humane

Instagram & Facebook @usanavyseals

 

Photos from Byung Kang (current guardian) Instagram & Facebook @marines

BLUE II P491, MARINES, AFGHANISTAN

Blue, a Labrador Retriever, served in the Marines from 2011-2018 with 2 tours in Afghanistan. Her main job was finding improvised explosive devices or IEDs. In Afghanistan alone, she completed 300 missions, finding several IEDs and keeping her team safe. Blue was retired in 2018 and reunited with one of her handlers in Georgia. She is a finalist in the 2020 Hero Dogs competition.

CONAN, ARMY SPECIAL FORCES, SYRIA   

Conan, a Belgian Malinois, serves with Army Special Forces and in 2019 was part of the team that took down ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. During the mission in Syria, Conan chased Baghdadi down a dead-end tunnel where Baghdadi took his own life. He was honored by President Trump at the White House. Conan still serves with the military and his handler’s identity is secret since both are on active duty.

Facebook @usasoc.mil

Do you know of other heroic military working dogs we should highlight? Please tell us in the comments or send us an email to support@spotonfence.com.


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