Theo and Liam to be repatriated together

 
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Theo and Liam to be repatriated together

Stories like this always tear me up.

A dog handler and his springer spaniel, who died within hours of each other in Afghanistan, are to be flown home to Britain together.

 

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was shot dead on Tuesday while the pair were on patrol in southern Helmand province. His spaniel Theo died of a seizure shortly afterwards.

The Ministry of Defence said on Friday the 22-month-old dog's ashes would be brought back to Britain on the same flight as L/Cpl Tasker.

"A dog can not be repatriated, but they will be returned to the UK on the same day, in the same plane," a defence department spokesman said.

They will be flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire next week.

Three weeks ago, Theo had been praised by the Ministry of Defence for finding 14 hidden bombs and weapons caches in just five months - a record for a dog and handler.

The spaniel, on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, had uncovered so many improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that his time in the country was extended by a month.

I remember when I was in Bosnia AFRTS always had those "commercial" things that weren't really commercials.  I always wondered what folks who knew nothing about the military would think if they saw them, as they were always of the "don't drink too much", "don't beat your wife", "don't go heavily in debt" sort of thing.  But one stood out to me, about a dog that lost his owner.  I looked it up a few months ago, and from wiki I found this:

In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo took in Hachikō as a pet. During his owner's life Hachikō greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the golden brown Akita waited at Shibuya station.

 

Hachikō was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, returning again and again to his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for the return of his owner.

The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.

Apparently they made a movie, but I haven't seen it:

  

Anyway, I hope Liam and Theo are together now in the land of eternal sunshine.

Posted in the burner | 5 comments
 
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Comments

Seizure my 4th point of contact. More like a Broken Heart.

They both are going to a place with no bombs, just balls, frisbees and treats.

I once read that heaven is the place that when you get there, all the dogs you loved in your life come up to greet you, jumping up and down and wagging their tails. I'd like to think of it that way.

As a Vietnam era veteran I have fond memories of the best man at my wedding . He was an Army Military Dog Handler in Vietnam late 1968-1969 . If I recall correctly his dog was a German Shepherd
named King . They were inseperable . They were guarding a military ammo dump in the Central Highlands of Plieku when an NVA rocket attack occured killing my friend and injuring the dog . I always
carry the memory of my friend but also wonder what happened to the dog . Since then a lot of years have passed me by and any information is basically non-existant . But I'm sure my buddy and his
pal King are together .

I have read Hachiko's story and when they made a movie, I watched it and it leave my eyes in tears. The story of a dog and its handler touches the heart of pet lovers like me. I have a dog and whenever I'm working my home based data entry jobs, he's always on my side. May Theo and Liam both rest in peace.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.