Animals in War
When Animals Are Drafted
War Horses – the Engines of Battle
For Kittens of War, Marines are Heroes
All Creatures Great and Small
When Soldiers Deploy
The 80th Commando
Animal Soldiers Go Hi-Tech
Battle Buddy Now Therapy Donkey
Warrior Dog Gets Stem Cell Therapy
Animals, Conspiracies and ‘The Avengers’
Should We Be Testing Weapons of War on Animals?
Stray Dogs of War Take a Bow
The Most Decorated Dog
The Lion of Afghanistan
For 5,000 years they’ve been fighting our wars with us
“Theirs not to reason why; theirs but to do or die.” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
When Navy SEALS choppered into Osama bin Laden’s backyard and took out the notorious terrorist, a German shepherd, kitted out with an infrared camera on his head and weapon-style titanium teeth in his mouth, went with them. The dog, unnamed for security reasons, was honored at private ceremonies on his return.
For 5,000 years, starting with simple chariots drawn by oxen in Mesopotamia, animals of all kinds have been conscripted into our wars. From charging elephants to bomb-sniffing bees, we’ve used them in every imaginable way.
In return, we honor them as heroes and award them with medals. But they never go as volunteers; always as conscripts.
Theirs is not to reason why; rather just to do or die. They know nothing of our politics, disagreements or international disputes. They have no idea why they’re doing it, but they serve, mostly but not always willingly, often dying in the process.
On this Memorial Day week, we take a look at the animals of war: fighting by our side, left homeless when their families are deployed overseas, rescued by brave and kindhearted soldiers, working as therapy animals, and recovering from PTSD. In so many ways, they have always been part of our wars with each other.
On this coming Memorial Day, let’s remember them, too.