Dogs have played an important role in war since man and dog first hooked up with one another thousands of years ago. At first dogs were used to attack enemies, but as the relationship between man and dog evolved, they came to fulfill multiple roles, from guarding encampments, to rooting out improvised explosive devices and concealed explosives at checkpoints, to providing companionship to soldiers many thousands of miles away from home.
Not all dogs are provided by the armed services, however. Where special K9 units are highly-trained animals working alongside military units in the field, some soldiers happen to just befriend dogs they meet in the course of serving their country. This was the case for Sgt. Chris Duke of the 48th Infantry Brigade. While serving a tour in Afghanistan, he befriended three stray dogs that went by the names of Sasha, Target and Rufus. Along with his colleague Sgt. Terry Young, he fed and cared for the strays and they all soon became firm friends. Indeed, Sgt. Young and Sgt. Duke soon came to rely on the dogs to comfort them and remind them of home. A home far from the stresses and occasional horrors of frontline duty.
One night Sasha, Target and Rufus were guarding the barracks where Sgt. Duke and his men were sleeping. That’s when a suicide bomber showed up, intent on killing the fifty men inside. The dogs knew what they had to do. Check out the video to find out what happened next, but be warned – it’s a tear-jerker!