Once a hero, for­ever a hero

Animal Scene - - SCENE ZONE -

Wash­ing­ton Post jour­nal­ist El­iz­a­beth Svo­boda once wrote in a 2013 ar­ti­cle that heroes were made, not born. “Ac­tions like these might seem to be split-sec­ond snap judg­ments, but of­ten they are a nat­u­ral re­sult of lives that have primed peo­ple for selflessness.”

K-9s start train­ing with the mil­i­tary as early as eight weeks old to strengthen their nat­u­ral in­stincts and hone their skills. One finds them front and cen­ter with sol­diers dur­ing war. “In every op­er­a­tion, we are al­ways with them – our MWDS are the essence of the unit’s ex­is­tence,” said San Juan. “With­out them, we are noth­ing. They are heroes just as much as any other mem­ber of the team.”

Af­ter a life­time of in­ten­sive train­ing and war-re­lated stress, these dogs need more than just medals for their ser­vice; they also de­serve a good life. And af­ter they die, they de­serve a hero’s burial, just like any sol­dier who gave their life for free­dom.”

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