Many have heard of the heroic search and rescue dogs that helped find survivors in the aftermath of the September 11th World Trade Center attack, or the War Dogs in Afghanistan and Iraq that have saved the lives of American soldiers. Few, however, have heard about America’s first and most decorated War Dog — Sergeant Stubby. Apparently, even the U.S. military has forgotten about him, because all across the United States, military bases are banning Stubby’s kind.
Born sometime around 1916, Sergeant Stubby was a little Bull and Terrier dog (or, Pit Bull, as we call them today). He served with the 102nd Infantry in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. Stubby learned to warn his fellow soldiers of impending toxic gas attacks and incoming artillery. His captured a German spy by the seat of his pants. When he returned to the U.S., he was invited to the White House and honored as a hero.
Stubby received the following honors and awards for his heroism:
- 3 Service Stripes
- Yankee Division YD Patch
- French Medal Battle of Verdun
- 1st Annual American Legion Convention Medal
- New Haven World War I Veterans Medal
- Republic of France Grande War Medal
- St Mihiel Campaign Medal
- Wound stripe, replaced with Purple Heart when introduced in 1932
- Chateau Thierry Campaign Medal
- 6th Annual American Legion Convention
- Humane Education Society Gold Medal
In the most recent example, Camp Pendleton has banned the breed. Duke is a gorgeous blue Pit Bull that lives on the marine base with his favorite soldier. According to pleas all over Facebook, Camp Pendleton authorities have given Duke’s owner an ultimatum: Get rid of Duke, or he may be confiscated and killed.
The reason for the ultimatum has nothing to do with Duke’s personality or behavior. The reason is because he is an American Pit Bull Terrier.
And apparently, American Pit Bull Terriers don’t belong on American military bases. Perhaps they prefer the German shepherds or the Belgian Malinois. (Don’t worry, I have nothing against those awesome breeds!)
We are sorry, Sergeant Stubby, that our military leaders today have forgotten your bravery and service to this country. We know it’s not very patriotic of them to ban a breed that shares part of our nation’s name. It’s woefully sad that the very breed that inspired the formation of the K9 military corp has now become a victim of the very nation it has served for so many years.
R.I.P. Sergeant Stubby. If you can.