National Geograhic: The Dogs of War
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
Oh yes. I have seen that article...
Great article. Thanks for sharing. A big thank you to the brave men and women that defend our freedom
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I saw the magazine on a rack here at Hickam AFB in Hawaii last week. I actually stopped to look at the pics and glance the article on my dinner break. Great pics, and I'm glad the MWDs and their handlers are getting recognized. I tried to crosstrain from my current job (aircraft maintenance on ejection seats) to Security Forces to work with the MWDs, but I was told I was too high ranking and not needed, and even if I was needed, I would end up being the Kennel Master (a desk job in charge of the MWDs and their handlers) and not actually get to work with the dogs. Then I tried to crosstrain into EOD to dismantle bombs, and again, I was told I was too high ranking, and that I would have to go down 1 rank and leave active duty to go Guard. Nope! So I'll just be happy sticking with my ejection seats, and continue to give respect to our cops and EOD!
I know it's been posted on here before, but there is an adoption program where anyone can apply to adopt a MWD or pup in training (if/when it doesn't pass the evaluation test to become a qualified MWD). The info used to be on the Lackland AFB website under the MWD program.
If ever given the opportunity check out the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in North Carolina.
The special operations community just gets it right - top notch.
SOF K9 Memorial Foundation - Home
Read the article last week!
And for my birthday received a copy of the 9/11 book about the rescue dogs from my daughter. I have been accused of being a cold hearted SOB but I still get goosebumps when I read about these special dogs and their handlers.
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