Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rendering honors

On the first of this month a British soldier was shot by a sniper in Helmand Province and instantly killed. What is particularly poignant about this story is that he was a dog handler, and his dog died a few hours later of a seizure.

Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker and Theo had recently set a record for the most weapons found by a team in Afghanistan, and it is clear that Theo gave his all to Corporal Tasker. There is talk, so it's said, that Theo is being considered for a Dickin Medal. The original spot I heard on the radio today had talked to a former US Marine Dog handler who commented that there is no US equivalent to the Dickin Medal; that the US Military considers the animals it uses equipment, and one doesn't award medals to equipment.

However, An animal can perform acts just as selfless and full of valor as humans, something machines really can't at this point. Some clearly go above and beyond. It seems a shame to deny them honor with something as simple as a medal and acknowledgment.

Theo and Lance Corporal Tasker, I thank you for your service to your country and against those that seek to indiscriminately harm others. You were shining examples of the best kind.