Sgt. 1st Class Gabe has recently been awarded a medal from the American Kennel Club. Gabe is a yellow Labrador retriever and a top military dog serving in Iraq.
With his partner, Sgt. Charles Shuck of the 178th Military Police Detachment, Gabe has conducted more than 170 combat patrols. According to the Houston Chronicle, Gabe was wandering the streets and howling at the moon before he was taken into the Army.
Gabe followed in the paw prints of other rescued Labs and was chosen for security duty, but not in the traditional work in airports. According to the Southeast Texas Labrador Retriever Rescue Group, Gabe is the first of the group to go to war. The group's president, Dina Barron, said, "This is really special to see how far he's gone."
Gabe was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in 2005. A year later Gabe was ready to go to Iraq. My husband, on a personal note, was also trained at Lackland. He is not, however, a Labrador retriever. He trained in the late 1960's and went to serve overseas in the Vietnam war. He, too, received awards, but not from the American Kennel Club. Just sayin'.
Gabe's award is called the Heroic Military Working Dog Award metal. Gabe provides a safe environment in the execution of his work as a bomb sniffer. On patrol he conducts, with his human partner, search operations, raids and sweeps. The task forces, Iraqi police and other coalition forces benefit from the work of the pair.
Paws up for Gabe.