- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent
This was another huge year for the War Dog community — not only here in the United States, but worldwide. And for the first time, we at the Best Defense will be honoring one dog and one person who have made an exceptional difference in the war-dogs’ lives he or she has touched in 2013. And because this world is so incredibly vast, encompassing many communities within, these nominations need not be limited to enlisted servicemen and women and dogs.
It certainly could be a deployed service dog (like Ruth, pictured here), but it could also be a therapy dog (combat or otherwise), or a retired service dog, or even a civilian canine making rounds in a veterans’ hospital. As for the two-legged honoree, again, it could be a deployed handler, but he or she need only be an individual who as impacted the war-dog community for the better — a handler, a therapy dog trainer, a veterinarian or medic, a generous individual whose simply given their time in support of our deployed MWDs and their handlers. All’s to say, the scope here is very wide.
So, we’re asking readers to send in their nominations. You can make a comment here on this post or send an email to: WarDogoftheWeek@gmail.com by Tuesday, Dec. 31. Tom has generously offered to present a signed copy of one of his books as a prize. I’ll pitch in the doggles and super-sized doggie bone.
Above, MWD Ruth, with the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Group, takes a break from her obstacle course training at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, on April 28.