On Veteran’s Day, we take time to honor all those who have served our country — and our thanks doesn’t just stop with the human heroes. Throughout history, there have been many four-legged heroes who served our country valiantly. So in honor of this day, we want to share the stories of three famous canine veterans, and how they went above and beyond the call of duty.
1). An American Pit Bull Terrier Mix, Sergeant Stubby was a stray found roaming the campus of Yale University in 1917. Adopted by Corporal Robert Conroy during basic training, he was brought to the European front where he participated in 4 offensives and 17 battles. Stubby was known for his ability to detect incoming artillery and mustard gas attacks before his human handlers, but his greatest asset was the morale boost he brought to the troops.
2). Found in an abandoned foxhole during WWII, Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier who spent two years with the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron. Though she was only 4 pounds, she made a huge impact for the men she served with. She helped run a telegraph wire through a 70 ft pipe, keeping her fellow soldiers out of enemy fire. And, making the rounds at the hospital to entertain and comfort the wounded, she is credited by many as the first therapy dog.
3). Widely considered the most decorated dog of WWII, Chips was a German Shepherd mix who trained as a sentry dog. During action in Sicily, he broke from his handler and helped subdue a machine gun emplacement, aiding in the capture of 10 enemy combatants. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. However, his awards were later rescinded as the Army did not allow commendations for animals. But, in 2018, Chips was posthumously awarded the UK’s Dickin Medal, an award for “conspicuous gallantry while serving in a military conflict.”
To Stubby, Smoky, Chips and all people and animals of our armed forces, past and present, we offer our sincerest thank you for serving our country. Happy Veteran’s Day from all of us at Grounds & Hounds.