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Veterans come in all shapes and sizes Least we forget "Species Too"!

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Memories are funny things to have.

I remember a young FNG fresh out of some of the toughest training the US Army had to offer. It was his first duty assignment at a place called Ft. Sherman, Panama Canel Zone. He had taken a course in how to handle a EOD Dog and would walk his charge through the Port of Panama seeking out explosives being smuggled into Panama and then sent north to Central America. Specifically, the Nicaraqua, Honduras and El Salvadore areas. Where Santanista soldiers waited for the explosives. These same soldiers were being trained by Russian military Advisors. The USA watched this carefully and it ultimatly came to a head in the 1980's when Ollie North bit the bullit for then President Reagan. We all know the story...

Now anyone can recognise 40 hours is not much time to learn the duties of a Dog Handler but the times dictated what was necessary. That FNG soon picked up the necessay skills to run his K9 and on occasion would come up with what he was looking for, mostly he let the Dog do his job. His K9 partner was named Raider and Raider loved his work because he knew that after he and his handler would have some time off to play and relax. Uncle Sam had strict rules in civilized places that Working Dogs couldnt leave their Pen area only to work. Almost like this most important ceature was non-existant.

The facts were that K9 (Raider)was every bit as much a soldier as his partner. Yet he was treated like another bit of equipment... Time ticks and keeps ticking there is know stopping it. Death perhaps, but that would seem only for that individual. Time was there when there was no living creature on the land only the sea's had organisms that were truely alive. The FNG went from that to a soldier and more his partner earned the respect of the other soldiers by doing his job. This has played out many times through out history. Alexander the Great had Dog's. The Romans too! Did the Soldier and his Dog feel any different? I think not. Today is know different either. We are not special only another step on the ladder of time!

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