Ryky, a Belgian Malinois, ran as fast as she could to the rescue of two wounded soldiers after their vehicle ran over an IED in Afghanistan.
Cila, a Labrador Retriever, showed her nerves of steel and expert instincts while clearing suspected insurgents’ homes during nearly 100 missions in Iraq.
Now these dogs of war are having their day in the spotlight!
For the first time, these brave pooches will have their own float at the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.
“This showcases that age-old human-dog bond at its best,” said Ryan Hegg, deputy director of the United War Veterans Council.
Thanks to the American Humane Association and a generous veterans supporter, six military dogs and their handlers will be featured today, November 11.
“They’re heroes,” said Lois Pope, a National Enquirer heiress and former Broadway singer. “They save so many lives.”
Pope has donated millions to veterans’ causes.
Rapper and actor Ice-T, who is an U.S. Army vet, and his wife, Coco, join the hero canines on their float. The military dogs are not the only ones wagging their tails at the parade.
There is also a float for several therapy dogs who work with soldiers suffering from PTSD. They were sponsored by the A&E Network, for the first time, according to Hegg.
He says he hopes the dog floats will serve as “another way to get folks aware of military issues.”
Mission after mission in Iraq, Cila was always by the side of retired Army Staff Sgt. Jason Bos.
Bos trusts Cila for more than her skill in detecting weapons and explosives.
The chocolate Labrador Retriever works as a military dog but she did double duty as Bos’ companion — helping him overcome loneliness while stationed far from home.
“She was my best friend,” said Bos. “I talked to her more that year than I did to regular people.”
Bos reunited with Cila in April after adopting her.
Ryky and her handler, now-retired Army Staff Sgt. James Harrison, served together in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2 years.
During their tours, the Belgian Malinois detected everything from AK-47s to bomb materials. But the pair’s courage was never tested more than on a harrowing day in June 2011 when an IED destroyed the Humvee traveling ahead of them.
There were shaken but after regaining their wits, Harrison and Ryky jumped out of their vehicle and cleared a way to the two injured soldiers for medics, using their detection skills to make sure there were no other bombs nearby.
Harrison was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions — a recognition he shares with his brave companion, Ryky.
“I view her not as a pet, but as a partner,” Harrison said.
Harrison has officially adoptedRyky. The sweet, brave girl became his prized pooch in June.
“We’ve gone through life-altering situations together,” said Harrison. “I guarantee I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her. And I know there are other service members who wouldn’t be here either if it weren’t for her.”
Image and article source: NY Daily Post