First of all, a big shout-out to all friends, family, and eBookworm readers who are serving or have served in the military, and a heart-felt thanks and sympathy to all who have lost a loved one while serving.
As Veterans’ Day (a.k.a.: Armistice Day or Remembrance Day) this year is occurring while my best friend Noggin is in the midst of a series of veterinarian visits and medications trying to get his 12-year-old body to recover from some severe problems, I would like to recommend a book to my readers: Always Faithful by Captain William W. Putney, D.V.M, U.S.M.C. (ret.). It is subtitled “A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII”.
It is an engaging account of a US Marine “war dog” company created during World War II, and which eventually saw action in the Pacific, particularly on Guam. The author was a veterinary officer with the unit throughout, participating both in the training and the welfare of the dogs, most of which were “loaned” from civilian families. I found the tale of the training, eventual battlefield action, and later return to civilian life to be fascinating, told in a sincere and clean style that was a pleasure to read. It is a bit pricey, I’m afraid (currently $16.99 in the Amazon Kindle store), but if you are interested in both dogs and WWII history, it will likely be worth it to all but the most frugal of readers.
Long after the war, Capt. Putney organized an effort to erect a monument to the faithful dogs who gave their all — not for their country, but for the men who were their handlers and their friends. (Several of the handler/dog pairs who survived were able to stay together after leaving the Marines.) This photo of the monument always makes me tear up a bit: