The next 4 Monday's Beasts will be dedicated to animal war veterans. May their service not be forgotten. They join us in battle but fight for no country in particular. They are innocent of war but they are always there as allies.
Many animals have served humans in wars. Some as pack animals, some for hauling, some as riding animals, some as messengers, some as a means of spying, some for detection of artillery and poison gas and a lot of them just to provide comfort, companionship and good morale. The list includes donkeys, dogs, horses, mules, pigs, dolphins, foxes, pigeons, monkeys, baboons, cattle, camels, pigs, goats and many others.
One thing is for sure. No animal has been in a human war because he or she has wished to fight for a cause or a side. They are there because we are there. They have been brought to wars by us or adopted by us during war.
The “heroes” among war animals are brave ones that stuck to tasks and to people and to life in the face of adversity. They did their jobs or tasks well despite the danger and mayhem that was occurring around them. They did exactly what they were trained to do. They even saved human lives. But still, they never cared about the war or the point of the war.
Some animals have won human, military medals for bravery, for endurance, for saving lives. However, they did not care about the outcomes of their tasks other than getting them done. Doing the jobs they were trained to do and sticking to the people they cared about, that was their mission, not medals, or sides, or ideologies.
Some wonder if war animals deserve human military medals. I think they do. They can be brave just like people. They can carry out tasks even when they are hurt or would rather not, just like well trained soldiers. In the end what's really being rewarded with those medals are traits like bravery, loyalty, skill and good instincts all things animals are equally as capable of as humans. It doesn't matter in the end that the animals do not understand the cause of war or what is being fought for. Many soldiers probably don't either. They are just dedicated to their tasks, training and a sense of loyalty to their companions like the animals are.
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