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Celebrating Famous War Dogs

While we spend Veterans Day honoring those who have served us over the past few centuries, many veterans spend the day remembering those who helped them get through battle - and some of them are, of course, "man's best friend." Here are some of the bravest war dogs that helped American and allied troops over the years.

Sallie (Civil War)

War dogs go all the way back to the Civil War. Sallie was a memorable pup that accompanied the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry and even gave her life on the frontline in a tragic battle. During her time with them, Sallie remained a constant reassuring presence to the soldiers, lifting them up and giving them moral support. She even barked and rushed at the enemy, wanting to play her part. 

Sgt. Stubby (World War I)

Sgt. Stubby is one of the most famous war dogs - and for a reason! He served as war dog for the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division in World War I. The "Sgt." part of his name isn't just a cute add-on - it's a true title. Stubby earned the rank of Sergeant after serving in France, and is the only dog to ever be promoted through combat. Sgt. Stubby warned his comrades of incoming trench attacks so that could properly prepare. He even captured a German spy! Which, to be fair, wouldn't you fall for an adorable pup in a vest?

Brian (World War II)

Brain, a Collie mix, served as a "paradog" for the British, assisting all allied forces, in World War II. Amazingly, he actually parachuted to the ground just like his human comrades. "Paradogs" would be dropped behind enemy lines with their comrades and served as extra eyes and ears on the ground. After a heroic D-Day parachute in Normandy, Brian was awarded Britain's PDSA Dickin Medal for his service and lived out the rest of his life as a regular (but totally-spoiled) house dog. 

Nemo (Vietnam)

Many are familiar with Nemo - a heroic, life-saving German Shepherd that made it home safely (sadly, many war dogs didn't - if they didn't die at war, they were subject to abandonment or euthanasia when the troops withdrew). Nemo served with the Air Force and was assigned to the 377th Security Police Squadron. He was insistent - during one battle, he was shot in the eye while holding down an enemy soldier.  Even after he was shot, Nemo still spent the rest of the battle protecting his human comrades by throwing his body over theirs. Miraculously, he survived and made it back to America.

So, while you're celebrating human veterans tomorrow, celebrate furry ones, too!

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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes