Animals have been serving the United States military for decades. Dogs, particularly, have served bravely since at least World War I (WWI). In 2019, military working dogs were thrust back into the spotlight when President Trump told the world about a hero dog named Conan who helped take down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Conan isn’t our only hero dog though, here are some others worth noting:
- A golden retriever military dog named Gabe was awarded the American Hero Dog of 2012 at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Gabe served his country in Iraq, where he completed more than 200 combat missions sniffing out bombs, guns and ammunition from insurgents.
- Sgt. Stubby, a Brindle Bull Terrier mutt, served in WWI with the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division of the Army. He participated in 17 battles where he learned how to perform drills, locate wounded soldiers, detect gas and decipher English from German. He even found a German soldier trying to map out the US trenches. Sgt. Stubby received medals for his heroism and a Purple Heart for his battle injuries.
- Chips, a German Shepard-Collie-Husky mix, served in the Army for more than three years during WWII. During his time there, Chips sniffed out a German gun nest and saved the lives of many American soldiers. For his bravery, in 1943, Chips became the only animal to ever receive the Silver Star. He was also nominated for a Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross.
- Lex, a German Shepard, served in Fallujah with his handler, Cpl. Dustin Lee. The two were hit by a mortar and Lee was fatally wounded. Lex, wounded by shrapnel, crawled on top of his handler and protected his body until medics arrived. After the incident, Lee’s family adopted Lex and he was allowed to retire from service.
- During WWII, a collie-mix named Bob led more missions into enemy territory than any other dog or soldier.
- GI Joe, a pigeon, saved more than 1000 Allied soldiers after flying 20 miles in 20 minutes to deliver a message that stopped a bombing by friendly-fire. The bird is now stuffed and in a plexiglass case in a House building.
These animals deserve recognition for their heroics, because without them the results of the missions they were involved in could’ve turned out much differently.
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