In celebration of Veteran’s Day, we’d like to remind you about some of the military K-9 heroes we’ve profiled in 2011. Like human soldiers, these pups work hard every single day to ensure the safety of our deployed troops.
Let’s give them a virtual hug by “liking”them — click on that little +1 button at the top of the article.
As a bonus, we’re sharing some of our favorite clips of dogs welcoming home their soldier daddies.
Emmitt Thunderpaws Welcomes Home His Military Dad!
By now we’re all aware that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday night in a raid in Pakistan. But were you aware that a dog was part of the mission?
It’s true. According to the New York Times, 79 commandos and 1 dog were involved in the raid on the sprawling compound in Abbottabad.
Dog Reunites with Soldier Home from Iraq
Ever since a military service dog named Cairo helped take down Osama bin Laden, Americans everywhere are clamoring to adopt retired war dogs.
Military Working Dog Adoptions, a rescue organization that places retired military dogs in civilian homes, has reported more than 300 adoption inquiries since the beginning of May, when Cairo became famous for her role in the Navy SEALS raid that resulted in the death of the world’s most-hated terrorist.
Gracie Welcomes Her Daddy Home from Afghanistan
The U.S. military first officially used canines during World War II. According to the website Olive-Drab, there was an immense increase in the number of dogs used by the military after 9/11.
The New York Times reports that around 600 of the dogs are now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Slate says there are roughly 2,700 total in the U.S. military.
Today the K-9s of the armed forces are credited with saving untold thousands of lives in various conflicts over the past few decades.
U.S. Soldier, Home Sweet Home, Sweet Surprise
A military dog Bart and his handler were among the casualties on August 6 when a helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan, killing all 38 aboard.
Some members of the Navy SEALS Team Six were aboard, but it seems unlikely that the canine was the same one that had participated in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in May.
The handler, John Douangdara of Nebraska (master-at-arms petty officer 1st class), was reportedly the lead dog handler for SEAL Team Six. He was 26 years old.