A selection of writings—war dogs and otherwise.
"Military Dogs Sniff Out IEDs, Save Lives"
The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 31, 2014
"As the desert air cooled and night fell, Staff Sgt. John Mariana looked down into the reassuring eyes of one of the most valuable comrades of his eight-month deployment to Afghanistan: Bronco, his military working dog. ..."
"I became a chew toy for an Air Force dog. It really hurt."
Post Everything, Washington Post Oct. 30, 2014
"It really hurts when a trained Dutch shepherd sinks its teeth into your flesh. Even when you’re wearing tightly woven burlap. Even when that’s exactly what you’ve volunteered for. ..."
"The Dog Whisperer"
Foreign Policy, May 16, 2014
"In April 1917, in Villers-Bretonneux, northern France, war was raging. The Germans were advancing on the British; a small brigade of Australian soldiers had emerged from the trenches repeatedly to push them back. The enemy captured a strategic position, knocking out all lines of communication, but one member of the Allied forces was able to make it through the heavy shellfire that pounded down on the treacherous seven miles separating the command from the front: a small retriever, a messenger dog named Darkie. ..."
"Actually, No, There Are No Military Dogs Left Behind"
The Best Defense, Foreign Policy, September 19, 2014
"In the free-for-all that constitutes information sharing in the age of Twitter, Face Book, and personal blogs, there is plenty of misinformation about Military Working Dogs (MWDs) circulating on social media and on not-to-be-trusted websites. These myths range from the fairly innocuous and tiresome (MWDs are outfitted with titanium teeth to make them more ferocious) to the blatantly false and far more serious (all MWDS are euthanized at the end of their military careers).. ..."
"Three-Legged Dog Delivers Crucial Message in WWI"
National Geographic, May 16, 2014
"With food and ammunition depleted and the men's hopes waning... A large, black animal was bounding in their direction. From a distance it was difficult to tell exactly what the charging four-legged creature was. It was wearing a monstrous gas mask, and something was stretched across its shoulders that extended almost like wings. ..."
"Caesar, One of the First Marine Dogs in the Pacific"
National Geographic, May 17, 2014
"On one morning in November 1943, in the jungles of the Pacific island of Bougainville, Marine PFC Rufus Mayo was in a panic, scanning the scene around him. Desperate for help, he yelled to another marine—where was Caesar? ..."
"Judy, Canine Prisoner of War"
National Geographic, May 18, 2014
"The sea was slick with oil, littered with debris, and crowded with panicked men who moments before had been aboard the S.S. Van Warwyck when it came under attack. But there in the water was a dog, swimming to the foundering men, guiding them to floating pieces of the wreckage or letting them hold on to her back while she herself swam them to safety. ..."
"Left Behind in Vietnam"
National Geographic, May 19, 2014
"It was a beautiful day. Twenty-two-year-old Marine Sergeant Steve Reichenbach was working his way up a hill, his scout dog Major moving along beside him. In fact, he wasn't supposed to go out on another mission. It was supposed to be his last day in Vietnam, his last day with Major. ..."
"Smoky, a Healing Presence for Wounded WWII Soldiers"
National Geographic, May 20, 2014
"The onslaught was taking a toll on communication, and the American commanders urgently needed to run telephone lines through a pipe that stretched roughly 70 feet underground from the base to three separate squadrons, but they lacked the proper equipment. ..."
"Once Upon a Time: War in Crimea"
Passport, Foreign Policy, March 1, 2014
"Eight years before the Civil War nearly tore the United States in two, the imperial armies of Russia, Great Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire met on the battlefields of the Crimean peninsula for what would become the first truly modern war. ..."
"What Happens When You Bolt an iPhone to a Film Camera?"
Passport, Foreign Policy, February 14, 2014
"On the side of Hrushevskogo Street in Maidan Square, just next to the barricades and the swarm of protesters there was a bus stop. There was snow on the ground and the space looked a bit cramped, but it was as good a place as any to arrange a small, makeshift photo booth. ..."
"We Need War Dogs, More Than Ever"
The Atlantic, May 1, 2012
"Picture a sprawling grape field, row after row of low-leaning mud walls blanketed with dry leaves. It's winter in Helmand, Afghanistan. In the middle of the field are 20 U.S. soldiers crouching for cover; they've just endured an insurgent attack. Now that the gunfire has quieted, K-9 handler Staff Sgt. Justin Kitts and his working dog, Dyngo, are clearing the area for explosives...."