July 2014 has a MWD on the cover.
I read this article on a return flight to the US, and thought about David Winners and Fama, especially since the featured dog, Zenit, also came home with an amputated tail.
His handler, Jose Armenta, was not as lucky as our David. Both legs were blown off by a nasty IED. He did manage to get his dog back, and Zenit, too, is living the good retired life
Thank you to all these brave people for their service.
Here is the article.
Out in front of America’s troops, combat canines and their handlers lead the way onto the most dangerous battlefields on Earth.
By Michael Paterniti
Photograph by Adam Ferguson
Here is Marine Corporal Jose Armenta in his tent on the night before getting blown up in Afghanistan. He jokes with Mulrooney and Berry and the medic the guys have nicknamed “Christ.” He feeds and waters his dog, Zenit, a sable-coat German shepherd. He lets Buyes, who will be dead in three months, ruffle Zenit’s fur, for the radioman is crazy about the dog.
Then he takes Zenit outside in the waning light of this dusty, desert otherworld to train.
They’re happiest like this. Jose has Zenit sit, which the dog does obediently, and then Jose jogs 50 yards down and hides a rubber toy, a Kong, up against a mud wall, covering it with dirt. On Jose’s command, Zenit bursts forward, zigging in search of it, tail wagging. It’s an intricate dance. Voice commands met by precise canine action, always with the same end goal in mind—to find the toy. Tomorrow, on patrol, the objective will be finding not a toy but an improvised explosive device, or IED, one of the Taliban’s most brutally effective weapons against American troops here in what many consider the most dangerous province in one of the world’s most dangerous countries. And no dog can find every bomb every time.
(click link below to read the whole thing)
The Dogs of War | National Geographic Magazine