Highlighting Four-legged Heroes on National K9 Veterans Day!

March 13, 2021

 

March 13th is National K9 Veterans Day. It's a chance to recognize and honor our K9 veterans specifically, of whom there have been thousands in our country's history. So in honor of this day, here are the stories of three of the most famous canine veterans, and how they went above and beyond the call of duty.

Sergeant Stubby
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.
Smoky
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.
Chips
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 However, his awards were later rescinded as the Army did not allow commendations for animals.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.”
So, to every pup who has served our country, we wish you a happy National K9 Veterans Day. We honor your service, along with all the other heroes of the armed forces!

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