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Apparently it's Puppy Day at Castle Argghhh!

willy-pete-afghanistan-dog-.jpgCOMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Willy Pete and Marines with Company D, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), rest before going out on a recent patrol. Willy has gone on more than 30 combat patrols in the last 60 days.


Story by Cpl. Jeff Drew
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PAYNE, Helmand province, Afghanistan – He defends Marines and sailors with love and tenacity, protecting them as any Marine would protect a brother-in-arms. He is the epitome of man’s best friend, shielding service members from the enemy while providing companionship and camaraderie. His name is Willy Pete, and he’s a warrior, a protector, a friend. HeÂ’s also a dog.

Company D, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), arrived in the Khan Neshin District in the summer of 2009 for a seven-month deployment and established a coalition presence in the Southwest part of Afghanistan. The LAR Marines pushed west to gain a firm position in a town called Qal’ah-ye Now, where they found two dogs in a compound they began using as a patrol base. The dogs were beaten and malnourished. One of them was pregnant and the Marines named her Sandy; the other dog was small and frail, and the Marines fittingly named him Scraggles. The company adopted the two dogs, who accepted the Marines as family. Sandy soon had her litter of puppies, one of which would be named Willy Pete. All the puppies went to local residents to protect their farms and herd livestock, but Willy had a different opportunity – he went to the Marines of Company D for companionship.

Scraggles and Sandy grew fond of the Marines in Qal’ah-ye Now and began to protect the patrol base, keeping unwanted dogs and suspicious people away. Willy began to demonstrate the same protective traits of his mother as he grew. He also learned how to patrol with the Marines, what a patrol formation was, and how to react when they came in contact with the enemy. Willy has gone through three complete combat rotations since then as each LAR unit has taken charge of the area in the past two years.

The veteran dog usually takes the lead when the Marines go on patrol now. He stays in front until the Marines pass through the bazaar outside the combat outpost. Local residents often look up in recognition of the dog, who seems to fancy himself a Marine. Willy relocates to a new position once he establishes a clear path for the Marines and begins moving from one side of the patrol to the other, warning Marines of anyone’s approach with a quick bark or a low growl.

Strikes me that after three rotations, perhaps Willy Pete has earned a stateside rotation with an offer of citizenship, and an honorable discharge to Fort Living Room with Big Back Yard or somesuch.  But that's just me.

15 Comments

I heartily concur!!
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Amen.

Many Muzzies seem to dislike dogs, and I am glad to return the sentiment.  People who dislike dogs just are not....people.
 
Those who hate dogs are sub-human. Dislike I understand as things happen. But hate is soemthing far different, and muslims hate dogs.

Fort Living Room would be an excellent last post for such a true friend. Camp Living Room for the Marines among us.
 
...and muslims hate dogs.

*Some* Muslims hate dogs. Most of the Iraqi military folks I worked with had dogs at home, as much for companionship as for protection.

By the time we left, our hangar cat had already been adopted by the Iraqi C-208 mechanics.
 
Why do they hate dogs? The dogs have a higher code of honor.  
 
There are some pretty broad brushes moving paint around here today, that's for sure, Bill.
 
Locals hate dogs? In MY war in SEA, the locals ATE dogs.
 
 Bad word choice. All the Muslims I've known hate dogs.

Today I reemmbered a story about a Marine Rifle Company in Korea towards the end of that war who had a dog they'd named Napalm. Wille Pete is a good name for a Marine dog too.
 
Tell stories of the hangar cat, SugarButtons.  Did it hunt gremlins, or just do chair cushion softness testing?
 
Give him his stripes.  He sure has earned them.  And as far as being haram, it's (I've been told) all due to their saliva.  Funny because the canine saliva has been proven to have fewer bacteria than us humans.  But who am I to disagree with 7th century theologians.
 
Mohammedans tend to be softies for teh kittehs, as am I. It seems that Mohammed himself had a kitteh fall asleep on the sleeve of his costly silken shirt, and rather than wake the kitteh, he just cut the sleeve off when he had to get up and go somewhere.
 
"Once Gabriel promised the Prophet (that he would visit him, but Gabriel did not come) and later on he said, 'We, angels, do not enter a house which contains a picture or a dog.'" -- Bukhari volume 4, book 54, number 450

"Abdullah (b. Umar) (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) ordered the killing of dogs and we would send (men) in Medina and its corners and we did not spare any dog that we did not kill, so much so that we killed the dog that accompanied the wet she-camel belonging to the people of the desert." -- Muslim book 10, number 3811

With all due respect from a civilian gal who is thankful for all you Marines, IT HAS BEEN TEN YEARS.  Time enough to at least know their founding documents....their Mein Kampf.  P.C. = civilizational suicide guys
 
check out the Puppy rescue mission of Facebook. They help get pups back to the US for their soldiers. http://www.facebook.com/#!/puppyrescuemission
 
Tell stories of the hangar cat, SugarButtons.

George just sort of showed up at the first hangar -- we figure we stuck it up in his hunting territory. He slept in the bunker during the day -- that's where we kept his water dish -- and after sundown, he'd get into the hangar through the air vent and patrol, then scoot back in the bunker before sunup.

When we moved closer to the airfield, George showed up about three days later, which was pretty impressive, considering the number of jackals roaming the area, and when we packed up, the Caravan mechs took his water dish and set it inside the bunker next to their hangar.

At last report, George was still on patrol, judging by the bits and pieces of scorpion shell and mouse detrius the mechs would find in his Designated Eating Corner.
 
about Muslims and dogs: as with many other topics, Islam is schizo on the subject of dogs.  On the one hand Mohammed said they were 'unclean', and that keeping a dog is a large red mark on one's karmic balance sheet.  On the other, he advocated kindness toward dogs in particular and animals in general.   

In addition, one breed of dog, the Saluki, is venerated all across the Middle East, by all religions.  Not even Muslims would denigrate it, for it is older than they.