Hurt in Afghanistan, US Marine Corps dog wins top medal
The 12-year-old dog, who served for six yearsprotecting soldiers’ lives by detecting munitions, was awarded with the PDSA Dickin Medal, the highest award for animals serving in conflict, NBC News reported.
Having served in more than 400 missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lucca is the 67th animal to win the award -- equivalent of the Victoria Cross and the first US Marine Corps dog to receive the medal.
German Shepherdlost her leg and suffered chest burns after discovering a home-made bomb in Afghanistan. Her ownerGunnery Sergeant Chris Willingham visited London with to receive the award.
Thirty-one dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat have been honoured with the medal since its introduction in 1943, the TV channel reported.
Sent to Afghanistan in 2011, Lucca led 75 patrols in the IED-infested southern province of Helmand. On March 23, 2012, she found a weapons cache hidden under a haystack and alerted troops to the pressure-plate IED.
When sniffing out a nearby path, another bomb exploded, blowing off her front left leg and wounding her chest, neck and head. But 10 days later, Lucca was up and walking. She retired from active service after her injury.
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