Today, Veterans Day, I salute a World War I hero: Sargeant Stubby.
Found as a stray, Stubby was smuggled overseas by his owner and served with him in “four offensives and 17 battles,” according to Wikipedia. He was wounded several times in the line of duty, including a hand grenade attack that caused serious injuries to his leg. Incredibly, he was put back in the trenches after he recovered.
Stubby’s keen sense of hearing allowed him to alert his unit to incoming artillery, his sharp sense of smell helped him locate downed soldiers on the field — and even warn troops of poison gas attacks. He’s credited with boosting morale both in battle on the frontlines and in the rear during convalescence.
Our veterans these days don’t always receive a hero’s welcome. Our Pit Bulls almost never do. Fortunately as both, Stubby was honored and well-cared-for upon his return home. He died in the arms of his owner on March 16, 1926.
His brick in the World War I Memorial calls him “a brave stray.” As if there is any other kind.