British army dog joins list of animal war heroes

Comments Off on British army dog joins list of animal war heroes

British soldiers and military dogs gathered at a London army barracks to honour a fallen hero with selfless courage, nerves of steel – and four legs.

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his Springer spaniel mix Theo. Photo / AP

Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel who died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier partner was killed, was posthumously honoured with the Dickin Medal, Britain’s highest award for bravery by animals.

Theo worked alongside Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, searching for roadside bombs in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.

Tasker, 26, died in a firefight with insurgents in March 2011, and Theo suffered a fatal seizure hours later. Tasker’s mother, Jane Duffy, says the pair were inseparable. She’s convinced Theo died of a broken heart.

They’ll be watching us, and they’ll be so proud,” she said. “I just wish they were here to get it themselves.”

Since 1943, the Dickin Medal has recognised gallantry by animals serving with the military, police or rescue services. Some of these animal heroes:

CANINE COMMANDOS

Theo is the 28th dog to receive the medal, awarded by animal charity PDSA and named for its founder, Maria Dickin.

One of the earliest winners was Rip, a mongrel found abandoned in a bomb shelter and adopted by a London air raid warden. He was credited with finding more than 100 people trapped in rubble by German bombs during the 1940 Blitz.

Another World War II hero was Rob, a collie who joined British commandos in more than 20 parachute operations behind enemy lines in North Africa and Italy. His medal citation said that “his presence with these parties saved many of them from discovery and subsequent capture or destruction”.

Dogs have also been honoured for service in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and during terrorist attacks.

After the September 11 attacks, Apollo, a New York Police Department German shepherd, received the medal on behalf of all search and rescue dogs at the sites in New York and Washington, “for tireless courage in the service of humanity”.

WINGED WARRIORS

Pigeons’ homing instinct makes them excellent messengers, and more than 200,000 served with British forces during World War II. Some 32 were awarded the Dickin Medal for carrying back vital information from the frontline.

Feathered medal-winners include Gustav, a pigeon serving with the Royal Air Force, “for delivering the first message from the Normandy Beaches from a ship off the beach-head” on June 6, 1944, the day of the D-Day landings.

GI Joe, a member of the US Army Pigeon Service, was honoured for flying 32km in 20 minutes with a message that stopped US planes bombing an Italian town occupied by British troops in October 1943, saving the lives of at least 100 Allied soldiers and many civilians.

HEROIC HORSES

Upstart, a London police horse, is one of three equine recipients of the medal.

He was honored for a World War II incident in which a German flying bomb exploded 75 yards away, “showering both horse and rider with broken glass and debris”.

Despite this, “Upstart was completely unperturbed and remained quietly on duty with his rider,” controlling traffic until calm was restored.

A FEARLESS FELINE

Only one cat has ever received the Dickin Medal.

Simon, a Royal Navy ship’s mascot, was honoured for his service on HMS Amethyst, a ship shelled by Chinese Communist forces on the Yangtze River in 1949.

Despite being seriously wounded by shrapnel, Simon returned to his rat-killing duties aboard the damaged ship, which was trapped for months in Chinese waters.

“Throughout the incident his behaviour was of the highest order,” the citation said.

Simon and the ship’s crew were greeted as heroes when they made it back to England, but the cat died weeks before he was due to receive his medal.

News Link:-http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10843130

Irena Sandler

Comments Off on Irena Sandler

 Irena Sendler  
Died 12 May 2008 – aged 98

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw> , Poland <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland>

Irena Sandler

I received an email today,  about Irena Sendler,  I can not lie, I had never heard of her. But after reading the email & checking out her history, I wanted to fulfil the wishes of the original author of the email  & post it to as many people as I could; of course posting on here is an excellent way of reminding others what she stood for & what she did.

Irena Sendler was born in 1910 in Otwock, a town some 15 miles southeast of Warsaw. She was greatly influenced by her father who was one of the first Polish Socialists. As a doctor his patients were mostly poor Jews

In 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and the brutality of the Nazis accelerated with murder, violence and terror. Irena and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families, prior to joining the organized Żegota resistance and the children’s division. Helping Jews was very risky—in German-occupied Poland, all household members risked death if they were found to be hiding Jews, a more severe punishment than in other occupied European countries.

As an employee of the Social Welfare Department, she had a special permit to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to check for signs of typhus, something the Nazis feared would spread beyond the Ghetto. During these visits, she wore a Star of David as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people and so as not to call attention to herself.

She cooperated with others in Warsaw’s Municipal Social Services department, and the RGO (Central Welfare Council), a Polish relief organization that was tolerated under German supervision. She and her co-workers organized the smuggling of Jewish children out of the Ghetto. Under the pretext of conducting inspections of sanitary conditions during a typhus outbreak, Sendler and her co-workers visited the Ghetto and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and trams, sometimes disguising them as packages. She also used the old courthouse at the edge of the Warsaw Ghetto (still standing) as one of the main routes for smuggling out children.

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids).  She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.  The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.  During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.  Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.  After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.  Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.   She was not selected.  

President Obama won one year before becoming President for his work as a community organizer for ACORN  and Al Gore won also — for a slide show on Global Warming….yeah go figure!!

In MEMORIAM – 63 YEARS LATER

I’m doing my small part by forwarding this message.   I hope you’ll consider doing the same. It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.  This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved
and humiliated!

Now, more than ever, with Iran , and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be ‘a myth’.   It’s imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.  This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!   Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.

Please copy & paste this to send as an-email OR re-blog it to people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.

%d bloggers like this: