Animal Veterans

 

pal-award
The Dickin Medal is the animal version of the Victoria Medal and is awarded to animals who show bravery in war.

This Friday, November 11, our nation celebrates Veterans Day. One of the most reverent holidays of the year, Veterans Day is a time when we gather together to express gratitude for our military veterans and the time they have served for us.

Veterans Day always takes place on November 11, no matter what day of the week it falls upon. Why? Because the 11th day of November marks the anniversary of the end of the “war to end all wars.” In the year 1918, it was the day that the final armistice went into effect between the Allied Powers and the German forces.

Many of us have members of our family who have served in our armed forces in one way or another, but what we might not think about is the non-human veterans around us. All throughout history, animals have been used in times of warfare for numerous purposes. From serving as stress-relieving companions to sniffing out wounded soldiers, our animal friends bring their own unique capabilities to the battlefield.

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Sergeant Stubby showing off his various medals and awards.

The first canine ever to hold a rank in the U.S. military was a  bull terrier by the name of “Stubby.” Once a stray found wandering on the campus of Yale University, Stubby was adopted by Private John Robert Conroy and given his name because of his short tail. He was smuggled aboard the SS Minnesota and then headed to the trenches of World War I.

Stubby carried out tasks that the soldiers couldn’t do with skill and ease. With his superior smell and heightened hearing, Stubby could alert the troops to incoming gas or shells far earlier than they could detect them themselves. Stubby was honored with the title of “Sergeant,” outranking his owner. When Stubby returned home from war, he was hailed as a hero.

Like Stubby, many of the animals that served in wartime were once strays. We’re not saying that an animal that you adopt from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is going to be a war hero, but we just know that they’ll commandeer your heart with ease!

So, on this Veterans Day, keep all of our war heroes in mind: both furry and not!

Want to know more about Stubby?

Adoptable Animals at HSNEGA

Save-A-Vet Homepage

This post was compiled with information from the following sites:

Dogs of War – Stubby

History of Veterans Day

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern
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