War is never easy. Its heroes are often remembered for their patriotism and valor when the men and women return home from the battlefield. There are other military heroes, however, that often go unsung: the dogs of war. Here are 10 stories out of the thousands of dogs who work with soldiers all over the world.
10. Sergeant Stubby
During World War I, a group of American soldiers were training in Connecticut at Camp Yale. A curious bull-Boston terrier mix wandered into the encampment and became friends with the men. They decided to name him “Stubby” and grew so attached to the dog that they smuggled him on a ship when they were deployed to France.
Even without any proper military dog training, Stubby was immediately an asset to the soldiers, barking warnings of German attacks. One time, Stubby grabbed the pants of a German spy and refused to let him escape. Stubby also went in the trenches in Europe, participating in 17 battles.
He got injured in the leg by a grenade and was hospitalized multiple times from gas attacks. Despite these injuries, Stubby continued to help the soldiers. Women in France sewed Stubby his own uniform and included medals for his various achievements, including a cheeky Iron Cross that someone found (which was typically a German award).
After one too many times in the hospital, the soldiers were concerned for Stubby’s safety. Corporal J. Robert Conroy, who took care of him, brought Stubby back to the United States. Stubby began walking in many parades for the American Legion, proudly wearing the uniform shining with his awards.
When Conroy attended law school at Georgetown after the war, they made Stubby a mascot of the university and he participated in halftime shows at football games. For the rest of his life, Stubby was invited to multiple events, met three different presidents, and received love and adoration all over the country.