War Dogs Book Review

Rebecca Frankel earned the nickname “Chief Canine Correspondent” in 2010 at serious-minded Foreign Policy magazine where she works after she began composing a weekly blog attribute dubbed “Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week.” Frankel, the magazine’s senior editor for special jobs, had just put together a photo essay dubbed “War Dog” in the magazine. Relooking and also writing that post opened up her “eyes to the wide human being of battle dogs, ” Frankel writes in War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History and Love (Palgrave Macmillan, 251 pp., $26), an engagingly written look at dogs and their handlers in the UNITED STATE armed forces.

Many of the book faces today’s military and the nation’s the majority of recent battles in Afghanistan and also Iraq. But Frankel likewise weaves in the history of the usage of dogs in wars. That consists of the American battle in Vietnam where dogs did valuable work-related in many kind of areas, a lot of substantially in helping detect “booby traps, land also mines, expedition wires, and also the enemy’s elaborate tunnel device, ” as Frankel notes.

“From the beginning of their usage in VIetnam, these canine groups gave patrols negotiating the froth and also fray of the jungle an benefit against the guerrilla strategies supplied by Vietcong, ” she writes. “Within a year of scout dogs’ arrival in Vietnam, they are reported to have actually conserved over 2, 000 lives.”

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Rebecca Frankel and friend

Frankel devotes component of one chapter to informing the story of Ron Aiello, who offered as a scout dog handler in the Vietnam War. Former Naval Aiello “still beams via pride for Stormy, the dog who accompanied him to Vietnam, ” she writes. “From the method Aiello talks around her—immediate, vivid, and also joyful—it’s as if Stormy is somehow at his feet or dozing in the following room, rather of a memory from a lifetime nearly 50 years old.”

Vietnam War scout dog team

Stormy, a Gerguy Shepherd mix, “was a lovable, friendly dog, ” that performed incredibly efficiently in Vietnam. The story of Ron Aiello and Stormy, though, has a sad ending. Stormy remained behind as soon as Aiello rotated home in 1967. Aiello slept on the ground alongside Stormy his last night in nation to be with her “till the incredibly last minute.” He spent years trying to discover out what became of his beloved dog, however as was the case through “the majority of the some 10, 000 handlers that served in Vietnam, Aiello never saw his dog again.”

Frankel claims that some 5, 000 dogs served in Vietnam from 1964-75, and only 204 came home to the UNITED STATE Those left behind “were either euthanized or turned over to the South Vietnamese Army, which likely intended death.”

This book is written through strong empathy for war dogs, dogs in general, and military dog handlers. It’s sure to appeal to dog lovers of eincredibly stripe.

The author’s internet website is www.rebecca-frankel.com

—Marc Leepson

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Tagged In:Dogs Vietnam WarForeign Policy magazinearmed forces working dogsRebecca FrankelRon AielloVietnam WarVietnam War dogsWar Dogs
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