I love animals.  I think this little fella was amazing.  Today is the 1ooth anniversary of WWI.  I thought it befitting to share with you a bit about this brave little creature if you didn’t know already.

In late 1918, a group of American soldiers from the 102nd Regiment of the 26th “Yankee” Division were patrolling the area around their foxholes in the Argonne Forest of northeastern France, near the Belgian border.  The density of the woodlands made infiltration by spies and reconnaissance troops relatively easy, as so patrols were required to sweep the area for any German presence.  One of the patrolling troops that day was Private John Robert Conroy from Connecticut, who was unique among the soldiers of the 102nd because when he shipped off to war, he brought his dog, a tiny terrier mix named Stubby.  During the patrol, Stubby broke free without warning, and immediately darted off into the underbrush, barking as he went.  Conroy and other American soldiers followed him, and when they found Stubby, his jaws were clamped around buttocks of a German infiltrator, who was mapping out the American trenches when he was surprised by Stubby.  The spy attempted to flee, but Stubby tripped him up by nipping at his heels.  The American soldiers quickly disarmed and captured the insurgent, but it reportedly took quite a bit of convincing before Stubby would let go of the man’s rear end.

Stubby was a stray mutt only a year before, when he wandered in to the 102nd’s mustering camp on the grounds of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.  Conroy adopted him and the little dog became very popular with the Connecticut men, and when they shipped out for France in October of 1917, Conroy smuggled Stubby aboard the troop ship SS Minnesota, by hiding the small dog under his greatcoat.

Despite the fact that the US at the time had no official combat dog program, Stubby was adopted as the mascot of the 102nd by the time they were sent to the front in February of 1918.  His presence not only increased morale, but had practical advantages as well; Stubby could hear the whistling of falling bombs before his human counterparts would, and would warn them of the incoming dangers.  Stubby could also smell gas attacks, and his warnings gave the soldiers more time to put on their gas masks (and to help him with his own); this ability grew even more acute after Stubby survived a mustard gas attack, enhancing his sensitivity to the specific odor.

In April of 1918, the American Expeditionary Force – of which the 102nd was a part – had its first major test during the German assault on the French hamlet of Seicheprey, Lorraine, on the border with Germany.  The Americans did not perform to the best of their abilities; confusion and poor command decisions allowed the German assault to sieze the village, but they withdrew in the face of approaching American reinforcements.  Stubby, in his exuberance, bounded ahead a little too far and was wounded in one of his forelegs.

The Americans redeemed themselves with a major victory in the capture of Chateau Thierry on July 18, and in the wake of that victory, some of the appreciative women of that town sewed a chamois uniform jersey of sorts for Stubby, on which he could hang his medals and commendations.  The 102nd also took part in the Meuse-Argonnes offensive in the autumn – the same action in which Sergeant Alvin York famously earned his Medal of Honor – and this was when Stubby ran off and captured his spy; the German’s captured Iron Cross was awarded to Stubby, who wore it on his uniform for years.  As a reward for capturing an enemy combatant without any assistance, General ‘Black Jack’ Pershing, the commander of the US contingent of Meuse-Argonne, promoted Stubby to the rank of Sergeant, meaning that, if he could speak, he would have had the right to give orders to the soldiers who accompanied him.

After Armistice, Private Conroy returned home to Connecticut, once again smuggling Stubby back with him on the troop ship.  “Sgt. Stubby”, as he was now known, achieved a certain amount of celebrity due to his heroics, and was given lifetime memberships to the YMCA and Red Cross.  He marched in numerous parades, appeared in fund-raising and recruitment drives for the Red Cross, and met with three separate US Presidents.  His list of awards include the Yankee Division’s YD patch, a Wound Stripe, a gold medal from the Humane Society, and the French Grande War Medal.  When Conroy later attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Stubby became one of the early mascots for their sports teams.

Stubby eventually died in 1926.  His remains are currently on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, as part of a display called The Price of Freedom: Americans at War.  For those interested, it’s on the eastern side of the third floor.

What a phenomenal American!

UPDATE:  A second person has now been confirmed as having contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia.    Let’s hope that they will be in the 10% that live through this horrific disease.

There is no known cure.  He was working in Liberia.  He and his family are back in the US.  Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

A Fort Worth doctor working with Ebola patients in Liberia has tested positve for the virus, according to Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency.

Dr. Kent Brantly is medical director at the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia.

The relief group says the 33-year-old physician with a private practice in Fort Worth is undergoing treatement in an isolation center at ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city.

Samaritan’s Purse says Brantly is married and has two children, and that the agency is committed to doing everything possible to assist him.

He has worked with the agency in Liberia since last October. Before that, he was a family practice doctor in Fort Worth, where he finished his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital.

Fort Worth doctor in Africa tests positive for Ebola virus.

h/t The Klown

The poser in the WH is doing nada.  Rick is going to take care of business.

Gov. Rick Perry is expected to announce Monday that he will activate up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley, state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, confirmed Sunday night.

Perry wants these troops to bolster the work already being done with a surge of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, said Hinojosa’s spokesperson, Jennifer Saenz, who added that the governor gave the Rio Grande Valley delegation notice prior to the planned 2 p.m. announcement on border security.”

The senator understands that Perry wants this troop build-up but is not sure what kind of federal approval he needs for it. He just knows he wants to deploy 1,000 troops there,” Saenz said.

The announcement comes amid a wave of growing resistance to the federal government’s efforts to shelter the unprecedented 57,000 children from Central America who have crossed the border in the last nine months – double the number who made illegal border crossings last year. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to provide $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the influx.

via Perry expected to call up National Guard to Rio Grande Valley.  h/t TexasFred

Something to leave you happier during these difficult days.  I know that Mcnorman’s odd assembly of discarded animals would do the same for each other.  We have much to learn from these creatures.

A once-homeless street dog has been caught on video risking life and limb to feed her extended animal family in a Brazilian junkyard.

Lilica has spent the last three years traveling four miles down dark, dangerous roads each night to the home of animal lover Lucia, who gives the dog a bag of food.

The brilliant and selfless pooch then turns around and travels back to her São Carlos junkyard, where a menagerie of another dog, a cat, a mule, and several chickens dig in with their little hearts full of gratitude.

The journey begins each night at Neile Vania Antonio’s junkyard, where Lilica was abandoned as a puppy, just as it did the first time Lilica made her miraculous trek.

Lucia Helena de Souza first met Lilica years ago and fed her, as she would any stray.

‘I realized that she ate and then stared at what was in the bag,’ Lucia says in a video about Lilica.

A neighbor suggested to Lucia that Lucia might be staring at the bag because she wanted to take it with her.

And when Lucia tied up the bag and handed it over, that’s exactly what happened.

‘From then on, that’s what how we did it,’ Lucia said of their nightly meetings at 9:30pm.

Upon Lilica’s return to her junkyard, the real magic happens: the mothering pooch drops her bag of food and the motley animal crew descends.

One by one, a dog, some chickens, a mule and some cats take turns sharing a bit of Lilica’s gift.

‘An animal sharing things with other animals is a lesson. A lesson for us,’ says Lucia

Junkyard dog travels 4 miles every night for 3 years to get food for friends.


Really scary.

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