Thursday, March 11, 2010
An Army National Guard unit stationed in Afghanistan befriended two dogs in the fall of 2009. Since finding them, Sam and Rocky have brought a touch of home to their soldiers at the remote and desolate location where they are stationed. These two dogs have been the guy’s running buddies, confidants and distraction during the long arduous days of their deployment. At night the dogs routinely position themselves at the entrance to the men’s sleeping quarters and frequently bark to alert those inside of possible dangers.
Earlier this month the dogs were barking in a manner that drew the attention of the soldiers. When the barking persisted and the normal, “Shut up,” that would be yelled out to get the dogs to be quiet did not work, one of the guys decided to investigate. Something was different this time.
Before the soldier could make it outside there was a loud, resonating, “Boom.” The dogs had intercepted a suicide bomber, intent on detonating his device inside the building.
A witness saw Rocky attack the man, biting him in the leg and hanging on to keep the man from being able to move and gain entry into the building. When the bomb went off, Rocky was at the epicenter of the explosion.
These were not military trained dogs, but just two strays that had become fiercely loyal to the men that took them in and cared for them in an environment that is not kind to animals. In return, Sam and Rocky more than likely saved the lives of their soldiers that night and greatly reduced the injuries. Unfortunately though, Sam was so severely mangled she had to be humanely euthanized. Rocky sustained serious injuries but the base medic was able to provide treatment and this survivor is expected to make a full recovery much to everyone’s amazement.
Rocky is a wartime hero that deserves a life outside of Afghanistan for what he did. That is why SPCA International is working with the animal loving members of the unit to bring Rocky to the U.S. where he will be reunited with one of the soldiers that was injured that night. However, there are many obstacles to overcome – location, the dangers of war, uncooperative commanders and a short time frame as the unit is due to return home in the near future.
Leaving Rocky behind is not an option. Everyone that is involved in saving this amazing canine is determined to repay Rocky for his heroic deed because it is the right thing to do for a dog that was doing what he does best – taking care of his people.
Unfortunately, bringing Rocky home is not going to be easy. The SPCAI team is working every angle tirelessly to find a way to bring Rocky to safety in the U.S., but we need your help too. It is clear that this rescue will take significant funds, please support Operation Baghdad Pups right now so that we can bring Rocky and many other military mascots home.
Quotes from David:
“Rocky is the last good thing that I have here, the ONLY thing that I look forward to each day is petting him and loving on him.”
“I am soooo happy that my "good thing" is here. He is really what gets me up the morning because there aren’t that many redeeming qualities about this country or the people in it.”
Donate to SPCA International's Operation Baghdad Pups program today to help us raise enough money to bring Rocky and other wartime buddies home.
**Names have been changed to protect the dog's safety and the safety of the National Guard unit.**