Good day everyone, so today we’ll speak about our furry friend Lucca.She’s a 12 year old German Shepherd, who won the Dickin Medal. This is equivalent to the Victoria Cross, which is a decoration for ones bravery.
Lucca is the first animal to receive this great honor.
The award was presented by the PDSA, a veterinarian charity that is not connected with military. Lucca was nominated for the Dickin Medal by Marines.
Lucca saved thousands of troops, and also takes credit for never having a casualty on her patrols. On Lucca’s final patrol in Afghanistan, she found a 30 pound improvised explosive device. During her pursuit to find more she was injured and lost her front left leg as an IED was detonated.
Tuesdays ceremony was attended with the owner whom is no other than Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Willingham.Lucca, was injured while on patrol with her other handler, Cpl. Juan Rodriguez, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in March 2012.
“The explosion was huge and I immediately feared the worst for Lucca,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I ran to her and saw her struggling to get up. I picked her up and ran to the shelter of a nearby tree line, applied a tourniquet to her injured leg and called the medics to collect us.”Lucca was evacuated to Germany and then to California’s Camp Pendleton. Rodriguez stayed near her through each stage of recovery — even choosing to sleep side-by-side some nights.
We thank you for your bravery Lucca, may the remainder of your life be well.
Isaac J. Hall II