Sunday, October 12, 2008

Soldier wants to bring puppy back home

A soldier who saved the life of a young puppy in Iraq and expected to bring him back home with her could not be allowed to take her dog when she comes home. Sgt. Gwen Beberg befriended puppy Ratchet while serving in Iraq, and sent regular dispatches to her home in Minneapolis charting the dog's process, with 100s of fans tuning in on Facebook to follow the pup's life. When the military started to burn a large trash pile they heard yelping coming from the pile. She was handed the dog out of the burning pile of trash in Iraq.But the U.S. military takes a strict line with soldiers befriending animals, and confiscated Ratchet as Sgt. Beberg prepared to fly home from Baghdad Airport at the weekend. The practice forces the military to be the bad guy. According to General Order 1A, a broad set of prohibitions for service members stationed under the Pentagon's Central Command, which includes the Middle East, service members are prohibited from "adopting as pets or mascots, caring for, or feeding any type of domestic or wild animal." The reasons range from obvious health concerns to the dangers of forming a bond with an undisciplined animal in a war zone to possible conflict with local residents.I'm sure their safety of their soldiers are important and the Army is concerned about diseases dogs could carry back with them but I hope they can work something out here. I can also understand how soldiers having dogs could compremise their positions and put other soldiers life at risk. A dog in the middle of a war zone is a cruel place for the animal to live at best. I can also see how this soldier feel in love with this dog and wants to bring her home. Now animal charity Operation Baghdad Pups, which has the motto 'No buddy gets left behind', is pleading with the U.S. Army to allow Ratchet to fly out of the country. Sgt. Beberg's mother Patricia said: 'This year has been extremely difficult on my daughter and her family. It has been a year of disappointments, loneliness, and fear because of all the sacrifices Gwen has done for her country. I don't know how my daughter will cope. Ratchet has been her lifeline.' Sgt. Beberg is also under military investigation for befriending the dog that saved her life. A close friend of Sgt Beberg said: 'It hasn't been easy for her - and the puppy she saved has been one of the few things that has kept her going. She's shared pictures of him as he grew from a frightened ball of fur to an adorable young dog. Gwen with 'lifeline' Ratchet in Iraq She's kept us up-to-date on his travel schedule, and badgered us into contributing money to bring him home. Soldiers can face immediate court-marshal for befriending animals.'It was so close... Ratchet was on his way to the airport.One soldier wrote to Baghdad Pups: 'I have sacrificed a lot to serve my country. All that I ask in return is to be allowed to bring home the incredible dog that wandered into my life here in Iraq and prevented me from becoming terribly callous towards life.' The charity Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International has joined Baghdad Pups in asking the U.S. Army to show clemency to Ratchet, and allow the dog to return to Gwen's parents in Minneapolis and friends of Gwen have launched a campaign to get American senators to intervene. Ratchet as a puppy: An international campaign has now been set up to save the Army's policy. This story has made headlines international and hasn't been resolved yet. If your curious google it on your internet for updated information on this story.I'm sure the Army and Gwen will work this out and Ratchet will find his way to the USA.

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