- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent
On Jan. 19, Sgt. Eric Goldenthal and his dog Corky were leading a patrol with Green Berets in the Kapisa province of Afghanistan when they came under attack. Two bullets hit — one struck Goldenthal in the leg, another hit Corky in his.
Despite his injury, Goldenthal’s only concern was for his dog: "I just kept asking if he would be alright. I was worried about his leg," he told the Military Times. The Army handler had volunteered for this deployment, an "assignment with Special Forces" that began in September. Their deployment was cut short and just last week both Goldenthal and Corky came back to the United States. And both walked off the aircraft that delivered them home to Fort Leonardwood, albeit with the help of crutches and a hot pink bandage.
Goldenthal and Corky, a yellow Labrador, have been working together for more than a year. Their relationship — and their strength as a detection team — was summed up by their kennel master, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Collins:
That day’s events speaks volumes. That was actually the third incident on that day within a few hours. They had already found multiple explosive devices, thankfully nobody was injured by those devices. It took three ambushes in order to stop them. Our job is important because nobody was killed that day, not one person.