Marine's and man's best friend

Many of us have dogs. I would be lost without our lazy sack of an editor AJ, who once again is snoozing in front of the wood stove. Dogs are one of God's most wonderous creations. Most of the dogs I have 'owned'in my life have been better friends than many of the people I have known. I thought this was a great tribute to the Marines and the great dogs who help save and guard the troops around them. Dogs in war are not anything new. This is from Fox News.

Marine’s Best Friend
By: Adam Housley

On a dusty road not far from the majestic California coastline a marine whistles, his weapon of choice quickly returns eager for another go. No shots are fired and the weapon stirs dust as its tail pats the ground with ready to please another order. As the team of two finishes this day's training, they know all too well that their next stop in just a few short days is the desert of Afghanistan and the reality of facing explosives buried on the roadsides and paths of a country battling terror.

These new weapons/dogs are in fact Marines and actually outrank their handlers. One black lab 'Susie' will soon become a sergeant before this latest deployment, as her handler also moves up in rank. The teams will stay overseas for about 7 months before both come home and the dogs eventually handed over to another marine for four months of training again before the dog heads back as part of a new team. The Labs purchased from a breeder in Virginia are trained to detect the scents found in homemade explosives and other elements in IEDs.

As I watch the teams go through their motions on this hillside, I can't but help see the bond that has built between man and his best friend. Like any dog, wanting to please makes everyone in sight smile. As for danger, these dogs don't dig for the device, they sniff it out, thus showing their handler not to go any further. That's when the explosives team comes in to take care of the device.

The Labs have been performing well in the field and only a very few dogs have been killed by IEDs. No handlers have lost their lives and thousands of others have been saved. Besides the ability to sniff out explosives, the dogs provide another very obvious benefit...camaraderie. The men light up when working with their dogs and I am told the entire unit gets a taste of home by spending time and serving alongside man's best friend.

Dogs and wars aren't a new concept. In World War II and Vietnam for example, they saved countless lives by going in first and protecting our men from harms way. As war has evolved, so has their assignment and none more important than this. As Major Theodore Bethey tells me, "These dogs no only make it safer for our Marines to conduct security operations, but make it safer for the locals inhabit these areas as well."

Original article is here.

Tags: Afghanistan, Bomb sniffing dogs, Dogs in wars, IED's, Man's best friend, U.S. Marines To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Patriot's Corner. Thanks!

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