Thursday, November 25, 2010

U.S. Military Bans Its Own Hero Dog

Many have heard of the heroic search and rescue dogs that helped find survivors in the aftermath of the September 11th World Trade Center attack, or the War Dogs in Afghanistan and Iraq that have saved the lives of American soldiers. Few, however, have heard about America's first and most decorated War Dog -- Sergeant Stubby. Apparently, even the U.S. military has forgotten about him, because all across the United States, military bases are banning Stubby's kind.
Born sometime around 1916, Sergeant Stubby was a little Bull and Terrier dog (or, Pit Bull, as we call them today). He served with the 102nd Infantry in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. Stubby learned to warn his fellow soldiers of impending toxic gas attacks and incoming artillery. His captured a German spy by the seat of his pants. When he returned to the U.S., he was invited to the White House and honored as a hero.
Stubby received the following honors and awards for his heroism:
  • 3 Service Stripes
  • Yankee Division YD Patch
  • French Medal Battle of Verdun
  • 1st Annual American Legion Convention Medal
  • New Haven World War I Veterans Medal
  • Republic of France Grande War Medal
  • St Mihiel Campaign Medal
  • Wound stripe, replaced with Purple Heart when introduced in 1932
  • Chateau Thierry Campaign Medal
  • 6th Annual American Legion Convention
  • Humane Education Society Gold Medal
None of this matters to the U.S. military. Instead of honoring the heritage of the American Pit Bull Terrier and the many lives Stubby saved (who knows, maybe some soldiers today would not be alive if Stubby hadn't saved their great grandfathers), military leaders have decided to embark on a full offensive against any and all American Pit Bull Terriers.
In the most recent example, Camp Pendleton has banned the breed. Duke is a gorgeous blue Pit Bull that lives on the marine base with his favorite soldier. According to pleas all over Facebook, Camp Pendleton authorities have given Duke's owner an ultimatum: Get rid of Duke, or he may be confiscated and killed.
The reason for the ultimatum has nothing to do with Duke's personality or behavior. The reason is because he is an American Pit Bull Terrier.
And apparently, American Pit Bull Terriers don't belong on American military bases. Perhaps they prefer the German shepherds or the Belgian Malinois. (Don't worry, I have nothing against those awesome breeds!)
We are sorry, Sergeant Stubby, that our military leaders today have forgotten your bravery and service to this country. We know it's not very patriotic of them to ban a breed that shares part of our nation's name. It's woefully sad that the very breed that inspired the formation of the K9 military corp has now become a victim of the very nation it has served for so many years.

R.I.P. Sergeant Stubby. If you can.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. As a military spouse, the spread of BSL is a horrific and saddening thing to see. I can't add a dog to my family, of any breed, without worrying how far and how fast BSL will go.

    BSL starts off with one or two breeds. But that list grows. Dog owners, regardless of their breed of choice, needs to actively and LOUDLY protest BSL. It may not effect your breed yet, but it WILL eventually. And it does immediately put your dog at risk.

    Instead of BSL, bases and local government needs to establish and enforce stronger ownership laws. Laws addressing health, containment & leash laws and harsher penalties for neglecting to follow these regulations.

    Breed bans solve NOTHING. The breeds themselves are not the issue. Its the owners. And if you leave the owners unchecked, they'll simply either move on to a different breed or ignore the ban entirely. Only the responsible, law abiding owners and good dogs will be affected by these bans. Not irresponsible owners who produce problematic dogs.

    As for the GSD and Malinois... Despite their current service in the US Military... Even they are banned as pets on various military instillations...