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Furry Heros Protecting Our Freedom


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I hope your Memorial Day is going well but before we hit the beach, fire up the grill and celebrate the unofficial start of summer, we should remember that this is the time to reflect on all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to America. But not all war heroes are people. Animals have been part of military service since ancient times.

Pawnation has assembled a compilation of some of our animal friends who have served alongside brave men and women who died for their country.

Marko the German Shepherd served as a Pentagon Force Protection Agency Dog for 11 years. After his service, Marko retired and now lives with his handler, Sgt. Isaac Hoopii. Although he is a big couch potato these days, Marko still shows off his skills at demos every once in awhile.

Nova was at the animal shelter, when staff spotted the smart dog’s obsession with searching for things. They suggested for her to become trained as a bomb-sniffing hound. She then joined the Townsville-based 3CER and was a popular

addition to the task force in Afghanistan. A month before she died, Nova took part in Operation Baz Panje, one of the largest air mobile missions in Uruzgan. The soliders were heartbroken when she passed away, but held a ceremony in her honor.

Gabe, 9-year-old retired Army dog can finally sit back and relax after spending much of his life looking for explosives, weapons and ammo in Iraq. He has won three Army Commendation medals, an Army Achievement medal, and almost

40 coins of excellence for his work. During his 170 combat patrols, Gabe helped make 26 weapons finds. Gabe is up for this year’s Hero Dog Award too.

Military working dog Desant, 100th Security Forces Squadron, takes a time out during his retirement ceremony at the military working dog facility. Desant served for eight years and worked over 9,000 working hours, 2,500 of which were in

explosive detection. Desant served his country and the U.S. Air Force by conducting 10 Secret Service missions in support of former presidents, vice-presidents and a first lady in Northern Ireland, Romania, and all over the United Kingdom

Sarbi, the 10-year-old Labrador-Newfoundland mix, earned himself a Purple Cross after serving as a bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan. Sarbi went missing for more than a year during his service. Luckily, 13 months later, an American

special-forces soldier found the brave dog in a remote part of the province.

Sergeant Stubby, who lived from 1916–1927, was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat. Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France

for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. The dog became a lifetime member of the American Legion and later became Georgetown University’s mascot. In 1921, Stubby was awarded a gold hero dog’s medal that was commissioned by the Humane Education Society.

To all who have served or are serving our country, we salute you!

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