Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I had just returned from a week out on a collection trip at Al Asad and was in my summer home of Fallujah. I was relaxing with a cigar and chatting with my office and can mate Capt Tony Licari in the evening when a friend and fellow Marine brought a black lab by.

Talking with the Master Guns I found out the dog is a female named
"Pearl". Pearl is an IED bomb sniffing dog attached to a Marine Battalion here in Iraq. She is specially trained by some folks back in the states for this type of work. Pearl is a new kind of weapon, highly trained and making a difference out here and saving Marines lives. Pearl has had some close calls already being in three IED explosions with her handler and close to forty engagements with the enemy in fire fights.

Sadly she is what the World War II guys used to call “Shell Shocked" and now with the sound of artillery or gunfire she will fall to the ground and shake. So long story short we have adopted her here within Camp Fallujah and specifically within the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned. She will spend her remaining tour here with us and not out with front line Marines, so we have a new mascot here in Fallujah and everyone is happy to have her around. I have to say it is very nice to be able to pet a dog once and awhile... reminders of home.

She will go back to the states with her Battalion soon to undergo some tests to make sure she has no permanent damage. Her handler a Corporal within the battalion has been approved to take her as a family pet if all checks out well. Great story for a 2 year lab with a combat action ribbon, I bet she would be a great interview.

The attached picture is of me and good friend Capt Licari enjoying a smoke and having pearl join us.


David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/12/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Debbi (no 'e' on the end) said...

What a good story.....tell Pearl we thank her for her service too(of course we thank all her 2 legged battles too) & I wish her many many dog years of happiness back in the states.

Anonymous said...

Aww - give Pearl a hug and a pat on the back. Hope she'll be ok and have a happy dogs'life. Stay safe all you two-legged devildogs.

ElizabethNC said...

Suffice it to say, Pearl's story made me cry. It is a true warrior who can hold on to his humanity in an environment that can quickly strip it from him. Our love for animals comes from the purest part of our hearts, and may I pay our Marines this greatest of compliments: Thank you for your warrior hearts. I am even prouder now of being a Marine wife of 27 years' standing.