A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Monday, August 17, 2015

THE LOVING FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN PETS AND SOLDIERS SERVING OVERSEAS - These tender images reflect the healing power of animals, particularly in times of war

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Tour Pets are not uncommon in times of war. Many platoons and sections serving overseas have adopted local dogs or cats to have as mascots, or for the moral support that they provided.  
Soldier And A Cat
A moment of tenderness between a warrior and a very young kitten
I've become fascinated by this picture and wanted to know more about this soldier, and here is what I found out:  This photo was taken during the Korean war in 1953. The little kitten named Miss Hap was only two weeks old.  Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor adopted her after the mother cat died from the war.   According to the marine, the name was derived “because she was born at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Praytor’s kitten survived. He fed her on meat from ration cans. After Praytor left her to return home, she became something of a mascot for the company’s public information office. Praytor believes another soldier, corporal Conrad Fisher, eventually adopted her, and brought her home to the United States.

There’s a juxtaposition between the soldier and the human. He’s dressed for war but hasn’t lost the ability to care for another living creature. In his left hand he holds his kitten, nursing it delicately with a medicine dropper. 

The photo quickly went the pre-Internet equivalent of viral, appearing in more than 1,700 American newspapers, including The New York Times. Praytor then faced a court martial for allowing a civilian publication to run a combat photo without proper authorization. When handed the court martial papers, however, his commandant tore them up. Evidently people were nuts about cat photos pre-Facebook.
 The Cutest Cell Phone Ever
 The Cutest cellphone ever -     Kathy Whilden

This list of soldiers who became friends overseas with local cats and dogs is a touching reminder of humanity, demonstrating that even during times of war, there are moments of beauty and kindness.
 Soldier With His Dog
 Soldier with his dog  -  unknown

War is hell, and the soldiers that fight it are just people – they need love too. The animals stranded in dangerous warzones and the soldiers that fight in them gravitate towards each other because they need each other – the soldiers can rescue animals that would otherwise remain homeless, while the animals provide soldiers with some much-needed love and therapy.
See more moving images of warriors and their animal friends

 Soldier With A Kitten
 Soldier with a kitten  -  unknown

Most of these pictures were taken while US soldiers were serving in the Middle East.  It is well known that animals are very mistreated in those countries because Islam considers them "impure".  
These dogs and cats must have cherished the affection they received from western soldiers, and they returned it with the immense love pets are capable of giving to their human friends.

My Little Buddy Over Seas

A Kitten Is Nestled In The Trouser Pocket Of A U.S. Soldier
Kitten nestled in the trouser pocket of a US soldier  -  DVIDSHUB

It should be noted that when soldiers return home with PTSD, it is the loving and devoted friendship of a therapy animal, usually a dog (sometimes a horse), that heals them when neither family nor doctors can help.

Soldier With His Rescued Puppy
Soldier with his rescued

 Stray Kitten Sleeping On My Buddy, Afghanistan 2009
 Stray kitten sleeping with a soldier - Afghanistan 2009 -

Marines Give Breakfast To Stray Puppy
Marines give breakfast to stray puppy  -

 He Just Crawled Up There And Curled Up
 He just crawled up there and curled up  -  wingless7

 My Friend Rescuing A Dog In The Streets Of Afghanistan
Soldier with his rescued dog in Afghanistan  -

 Private Awesome Is Feeding A Kitten
 Private Awesome feeding a kitten -

Making Friends With The Locals In Afghanistan
 Making friends with the locals in Afghanistan  -  You can trust these guys - Courtney Hyland

Soldier And His Best Friends
Soldier and his best friends waiting for treats  -

 Russian Soldiers Of WWII Sleeping With Puppy
 Russian soldiers of World War II sleeping with puppy - Georgy Lipskerov

 When I Was In Iraq, We Had A Pet Donkey
 Soldiers had a pet donkey in Iraq  -

 Soldier Feeding Puppies In Need
 Soldier feeding hungry puppies  -  unknown

Tired Soldier And A Puppy
Tired soldier and a puppy  -

Afghan Kitten
Afghan kitten  -  DVIDSHUB

 Found These Kittens In Afghanistan
Playing with kittens in Afghanistan -

 My Nephew Is Serving In Afghanistan
 Sharing lunch in Afghanistan   -  itsmellslikefish

 Every Cat Loves A Man In Uniform
 Every cat loves a man in uniform  -  Laurie C.

 My Shy Friend In Afghanistan
 With a shy friend in Afghanistan  -  alex1134

 A French Soldier Feeding His Kitten, Indochina 1956
 French soldier feeding his kitten in Indochina (Vietnam) in 1956  -

 Soldier With A Kitten Gently holding a newborn - unknown

 Little Cuties
 Little cuties  -  Olya Kuzmyn

 This Little Guy Kept Us Company On A Mountaintop North Of Kabul, Afghanistan
 This little guy kept them company on a mountaintop north of Kabul, Afghanistan  -

Dog Kissing A Soldier
Unconditional love  -  Andy Masson

A Dog Saying Goodbye To His Soldier Friend
A look of pure sorrow  -  Dog saying good bye to his soldier friend in Afghanistan -



US Soldiers Reunited With Adopted Stray Dogs From Afghanistan

An animal rescue activist who is reuniting U.S. service members with stray dogs they befriended in Afghanistan says the program has brought great joy to combat veterans who thought they would never again see the adopted "battle buddies" they couldn't bring home.

"No Buddy Left Behind," an effort launched by the animal welfare nonprofit Guardians of Rescue, is also very expensive — up to $4,000 per rescue — and in need of donations if more dogs and troops are to be reunited, founder Robert Misseri told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV .
Soldiers in Afghanistan "encounter stray dogs that live out in the wild and have to fend for themselves in this war-torn area, and many of our service members save them, adopt them, protect them, and of course fall in love with them," said Misseri, whose organization has longstanding ties to the U.S. military.

"Then there's the time where they have to separate," he said, "because the service members have to come back stateside, leaving those animals once again to fend for themselves, and that weighs very, very, very heavy on their hearts when they know they have to leave them behind."
"I speak to a lot of veterans that had to leave those dogs behind, and they can't get it out of their head five years later," he said.

In a poor country whose populace doesn't revere dogs the way Americans do, and often uses them for dog fighting, which is popular in Afghanistan, Guardians of Rescue still has managed to locate and partner with an Afghan animal shelter, called Nowzad, said Misseri.

Guardians and Nowzad arrange for troops' adoptive pets to be sheltered and quarantined in Kabul, "and then we start working on getting them back here to be reunited with those service members," said Misseri.

The process is "extremely expensive," he said, because "the fees for the airlines are extremely costly, and the average cost is between $3,500 and $4,000 per dog."

Nowzad's founder will help lower transport costs on an upcoming run by flying out of Afghanistan with one group of U.S.-bound dogs designated as excess cargo, said Misseri.

But that option isn't always available, and the normal procedure is to fly the dogs individually from Kabul to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where they are quarantined again before being put aboard a plane to the U.S., said Misseri.

"So, it is costly, unfortunately," he said, but he described the payoff as rewarding.

"The last time we brought a dog back for a service member, his exact words were, 'The last time I was this happy was when my daughter was born,'" said Misseri. "It's overwhelming for them. They don't even believe it until they actually see it, that that dog is back with them here."

"They've gone through so much together," said Misseri. "They witnessed horrific things together. They've spent, I'm sure, restless nights together. They went on missions together, and even though these are not trained dogs, these have become their battle buddies, in a sense. To have them back here with them is just something."



As with all charities, please do a thorough investigation before donating.  Some "non-profits" may use a large percentage of donations to pay their expensive executives and fundraisers, although this is not usually disclosed. 


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