This is Memorial Day weekend in the States, a time when we stop to pay tribute to the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. Memorial Day is not a day to honor veterans, but when thinking about the men and women who have fallen, it’s hard to ignore those who serve today.
As I was searching the news yesterday, I stumbled across a story about Sgt. Stubby, a service dog from World War One, whose interesting and unlikely military career began in New Haven, Connecticut. Sgt. Stubby is going to be honored this weekend:
“Pvt. J. Robert Conroy befriended the stray pup in New Haven as the 102nd Infantry Regiment trained on the Yale University campus in the summer of 1917. Conroy smuggled Stubby aboard a troop ship to France and hid him in the coal hold.
The war had been raging for three years before the U.S. joined the fight on April 6, 1917. Arriving early in 1918, Connecticut soldiers were among the first American troops to take positions on the jagged front and the first to draw blood and suffer casualties.
Stubby became the regiment’s mascot and protector. He came to recognize the smell of mustard gas and warned comrades of impending gas attacks. Able to differentiate between English and German, he alerted medics to wounded Americans between the lines. He even captured a German spy by biting him on the rear. Twice wounded, Stubby participated in 17 battles.”
While Sgt. Stubby entered the war by accident, he served well and is said to be the most decorated dog of WWI. His (stuffed) remains are on display at the Smithsonian Institution. More than a century after his service ended, a life-sized statue of this famous pup will be unveiled in Middletown, CT tomorrow (Saturday, May 26, 2018).
“Stubby survived the war and received many decorations. The women of the town of Chateau-Thierry sewed a jacket to hold his medals. After the war, the celebrated canine shook hands with President Woodrow Wilson, met two other presidents and served as mascot of the Georgetown University Hoyas. He died in 1926.”
In addition, I’d like to direct your attention to GP Cox’s wonderful blog “Pacific Paratrooper” chronicling the wars in the Pacific through history, first-hand accounts and family memories. In December 2016, GP featured a story on military dogs being honored for their service. Trust me, that blog post is worth your reading.
The “We are the World” Blogfest has extended its year-long journey and this is month two of year-two. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts Shilpa Garg, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Peter Nena, Andrea Michaels, Damyanti Biswas, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2019.