Dogs around the world pay their own tribute to hero police canine killed in Paris siege (with a little help from their owners)
Diesel, a seven-year-old Belgian shepherd, was a member of the SWAT team which stormed an apartment block in the Parisian suburb of St-Denis yesterday morning during an anti-terror raid
Twitter users are posting pictures of their pets online to pay tribute to police dog Diesel, who was killed by a female suicide bomber yesterday during a French anti-terror raid.
Diesel, a seven-year-old Belgian shepherd, was a member of the SWAT team which stormed an apartment block in the Parisian suburb of St-Denis yesterday morning as police hunted for the suspected mastermind behind Friday's terror attack in the French capital.
She was sent in to the building to sniff out booby traps but was blown to pieces when a woman came out firing an AK-47 at police and then detonated her suicide vest.
Tributes quickly poured in to the much-loved canine who had been decorated with service medals after a distinguished career in the force.
One police handler said it was 'a little like losing one of our colleagues' while a Twitter user said Diesel had 'died to defend our colours'.
Diesel's death sparked a wave of mourning across social media, under the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisChien.
The hashtag, which means I am a dog and was trending on Twitter, is a reference to the worldwide cry of solidarity 'Je Suis Charlie' in the wake of the terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in January.
Many shared messages praising Diesel's bravery and loyalty, while some users posted pictures of their own dogs in solidarity.
Police forces shared pictures of the SWAT team member on Twitter, saying assault dogs were indispensable to their work.
The official profile for Police Nationale tweeted that Diesel 'was killed by terrorists in the current operation in Saint-Denis'.
A source told MailOnline: 'When the policemen arrived with the dog, the dog came in first and was immediately killed. The French people are sad about her death.'
The force said that 'assault and explosives' search dogs are indispensable to the work of the French anti-terror unit known as RAID.
At least two people were killed in the seven-hour siege of an apartment building in the Parisian suburbs.
Several police officers were slightly injured in the operation. The fate of the suspected mastermind of last Friday's attacks, 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is not yet clear but unconfirmed reports suggest he was killed during the seven-hour siege.
More than 100 armed officers stormed the flat in Saint-Denis yesterday morning believing the mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, was inside with six other terrorists - but the French authorities will not confirm if he was there or if he is dead or alive.
A female terrorist believed to be Abaaoud's cousin blew herself up with a suicide vest and another suspect died during the seven-hour siege where five people were taken alive and arrested. Two more suspects were held 'nearby'.
Lotfi, a 50-year-old who was in the area, said: 'I heard police officers talking to a woman with long blonde hair.
'I think she was the kamikaze. They told her not to lower her arms, to keep her hands up in the air, and then there was a massive explosion.
'I think that's when she detonated her bomb. It really was a very loud explosion.'
'Lots of windows on the street were shattered, and then the firefight started and it was going on nonstop.'
Lofti, who would not give his surname, said he saw Diesel blown to pieces.
Diesel's death sparked a wave of mourning across social media, under the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisChien or #JeSuisDiesel. Some users even posted pictures like these, showing their pets paying tribute to the brave dog
Many shared messages praising Diesel's loyalty, while some posted pictures of their own dogs in solidarity
State broadcaster France 2 has claimed the group was a 'fourth unit' on top of the three who killed 129 on Friday and were planning simultaneous attacks with AK-47s and bombs on Charles de Gaulle airport and the Quatre Temps shopping centre in the city's business district, Le Défense.
The Saint-Denis siege started at 4.25am when SWAT teams and special forces surrounded the building after security services hunting for Abaaoud spent days watching flats and tapping phones.
The stand-off ended as a bloodied and half-naked suspect was dragged out of the apartment close to the Stade de France at 10.24am.
At least five police were injured in the ferocious gunfight including one shot in the foot seen being carried from the scene.
Witnesses told MailOnline their street was 'turned into a warzone' after long periods of machine gun fire and at least seven large explosions, caused by the suicide bomber and hand grenades.
Tributes quickly poured in to the much-loved canine who had been decorated with service medals after a distinguished career in the force
As the Saint-Denis siege ended after seven hours yesterday morning, it was revealed:
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said authorities are still working to determine the fate of Abaaoud - and identify those killed and arrested.
He said confirmed three suspected jihadis were held in the flat and two more 'as they tried to hide in the rubble' of the block.
He said: 'It is currently impossible to give the identify of those arrested, which is being verified. Everything will be done to work out who is who and thanks to forensics who and was in the apartment'.
Final moments: Diesel (centre) is seen being led towards the flat to sniff out booby traps minutes before she was killed by a jihadi bride who came out firing an AK-47 at police then detonated her suicide vest
Terror attacks: Elite police units were also involved in the ongoing siege which saw two jihadis die, five suspects arrested with several more still hiding in a rented squat
A member of the French judicial police is pictured inspecting the apartment raided by special forces after a seven-hour stand-off yesterday
Mr Molins said police began the raid on Wednesday after gathering information that he could be in a safehouse apartment in Saint-Denis. Mr Molins said the information was collected from tapped telephone conversations, surveillance and witness accounts.
He told reporters after the operation was over that authorities are still working to determine who was inside.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve arrived in Saint-Denis and said: 'I would like to pay tribute to all those involved in the operation, 110 in total, who acted with bravery and under heavy fire in conditions that they had never experienced before.
'I would also like to pay tribute to the cool-headedness of St Denis residents. They also contributed to the success of the operation'.
Armed police appeared on a street outside the Saint-Denis flat before dawn yesterday and then at least three trucks of soldiers and special forces arrived as back up.
Witnesses told MailOnline said there were long periods of intense machine gun fire and at least seven large explosions.
One of the arrested suspects is the man who appears to have rented the flat to the terror cell.
Jawad Ben Dowt, 30, admitted in an interview near the under siege apartment on Rue de Corbillon he handed it over to two men 'who came from Belgium' two days ago.
He said: 'A friend of mine asked me to host two of his buddies for a few days.
'I said there was no mattress, they told me 'it's okay', they just wanted water and to pray. My friend said they were from Belgium.
'I was asked to a favour and I said yes. I was not aware that it was terrorists' - moments later police grabbed him and put him in handcuffs.
A female friend of his who was also held said she stayed there last week and described it as a 'squat' and said the Belgian men arrived on Monday.
A woman living below the under-siege flat with her young baby described being 'woken up by an explosion'.
She told French broadcaster BMFTV: 'I awoke to an explosion. After that I heard gun shots and there was lots of shooting. The terrorists were fighting at the police and the police were firing back.
'There were shots, explosions. We didn't know where to go. My son and I were in panic.
'There was dust falling from the ceiling because of the explosions. I kept shouting 'If you're from the police, please help me. I'm here with my baby. But they kept shooting and shooting'.
Human cost: A sobbing woman, left, and a man carrying a baby in a pink coat and pyjamas, centre, are surrounded by dozens of masked and armed police evacuating residents from the sieged street
Drama: The terror suspect was dragged from the building and broken glass with no trousers on - presumably in case he was wearing a suicide belt - as police trained their weapons on the flat
Bodies were this afternoon removed from the flat raided by French police in Saint-Denis where Paris massacre mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, was believed to be inside with six other terrorists. The French authorities will not say if he was there or if he is dead or alive
TIMELINE OF THE BATTLE OF SAINT-DENIS: HOW POLICE WERE MET WITH HAIL OF BULLETS AS THE SIEGE UNFOLDED
Elite French firearms teams fought a ferocious seven-hour battle with terror suspects in a cramped apartment block. They stormed the flat in Saint-Denis following intelligence that it was being used as a hideout by the masterminds behind the Paris massacres and that the fanatics inside were plotting another atrocity. Chris Greenwood, Emily Kent Smith and Josh White detail how the bloody drama unfolded:
04.00: Police stream into Saint-Denis where they believe terror mastermind Abdel Hamid Abaaoud is holed up. They were led there by monitoring Hasna Aitboulahcen, a French-born woman cousin of Abaaoud. They also believe that on-the-run terrorist Salah Abdeslam and a ninth attacker are among five fanatics present.
04.15: Hundreds of police marksmen, supported by military units, surround an apartment block at 8, Rue du Corbillon.
04.25: Officers from counter-terrorist unit RAID storm the building. Bullets ricochet off surrounding properties as they are met with a hail of gunfire. An explosion rocks the neighbourhood. Several officers are wounded.
Nabil Guerram, 36, who lives nearby, says: ‘I was woken with a start at 4.20am by the sound of extremely heavy gunfire. My children were crying. There was non-stop fire for 20 to 25 minutes, then calm, then it started up again for a very long time.’
05.00: Police dog Diesel is killed after she is sent in to check for suspects. A witness says she was ‘blown to pieces’ in a hail of bullets.
A woman who lives on the floor below hides in her bathroom but there are so many explosions she fears the ceiling is going to collapse. She said she heard gunfire, screaming, and people shouting ‘shoot, shoot’. She said she ran away clutching her baby.
05.30: A helicopter arrives overhead and 25 minutes later a motorcade carrying dozens of French soldiers, followed by ambulances and fire engines are seen racing towards the flat. Surrounding roads are sealed off.
Neighbour Caroline Chomienne says she was woken by shooting, adding: ‘The firing got louder and it was still going on after an hour. There was a firefight. There was shooting everywhere, but also bomb explosions.’
05.45: Residents run for their lives. Omar Dati, a 17-year-old student, said: ‘It was like a warzone. We didn’t know where to run.’
06.27: Sporadic gunfire continues to be heard, and terrified residents are warned to stay indoors. Schools remain closed and public transport is shut down.
07.00: Jawad Ben Dow, the apartment’s landlord, tells how he let ‘two men from Belgium’ use it for a few days as a favour, saying: ‘A friend asked me to put up two of his friends for a few days. I said there was no mattress.
‘They told me, “It’s not a problem”.’ They just wanted water and to pray. I was asked to do a favour, I did a favour. I didn’t know they were terrorists.’
07.30: Siege enters its third hour and seven blasts rock Saint-Denis. Visibly nervous police officers reveal several colleagues have been injured in the close-quarters fighting.
07.45: Up to 20 people, including children, are evacuated from the apartment block.
07.50: One man said he thought he would die when the shooting started and hid under his bed with his young son. ‘I was afraid,’ he said. ‘My son heard and he was crying a lot. I tried to calm him down but he was crying. The police arrived and they said, “Get out quick! This building is going to blow up”.’
08.00: Police block roads leading to Saint-Denis, shining green lasers at anyone to stop them coming too close.
09.00: A woman – believed to be Aitboulahcen – detonates a suicide belt as she pretends to give herself up. Witness Christian, 20, said the street was showered in body parts after a deafening explosion at a window.
He said: ‘I heard a woman shouting “Help, help, help me!” The police asked her to identify herself and to show herself. She showed her hands but she didn’t reveal her face. They shouted at her, “Keep your hands in the air!” They told her, “We’re going to shoot”. The shooting resumed. Suddenly there was an enormous explosion. It was probably the woman who blew herself up.’
08.30: Police confirm that a man has also been killed, believed to have been shot by one of their snipers. It is not known if Abaaoud is dead or alive. Two further police officers are injured. Explosives used by police cause an entire floor to collapse within the building.
09.00: Prosecutors announce three arrests. A man and a woman were also arrested nearby.
09.30: Police believe one last suspect remains in the apartment.
10.34: A man, naked from the waist down, and wearing a bloodied T-shirt is dragged from the building. No gunfire had been heard for two hours.
11.10: Manhunt for at least one suspect continues, as French police confirm another arrest, taking total to eight.
11.25: Further explosions as police use flash bang grenades to distract anyone left inside the apartment.
11.43: After a cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace, the government declares the seven-hour operation at an end.
13.00: Body parts are found amid the rubble outside the building which will be subjected to DNA analysis to see if they are Abaaoud.
Photographs emerge showing the force of the explosions blew window frames clean out of the walls. Sources later claim Abaaoud was killed in the battle’.
14.25: A resident, who hid with her young son, said: ‘The helicopter lit up my living room. I had to talk to someone... I came out when they said it was over.’
Throughout the course of the long war in Afghanistan, Coalition troops have relied on thousands of military working dogs to help keep them safe, and make their jobs easier. The dogs are trained to detect explosives, to find illegal drugs, to search for missing comrades, or target enemy combatants. Not only are they active on the front lines, but behind the lines they serve as therapy dogs, service dogs, and loyal companions. They also share the same risks as the ground troops, suffering injuries and sometimes death on the battlefields. Gathered here are images of these dogs and their handlers in Afghanistan and back home, from over the past several years, part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.
Ricky, an explosive detector dog, with Canadian soldiers from Task Force 3-09 Battle Group during operation Tazi, a village search and security operation in the Dand area of Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, on January 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
US Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines fire at alleged Taliban fighters as their dog runs around outside new Mirage base, on the south of Musa Qala District, Helmand province on February 4, 2011. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images) #
1st Sgt. Dean Bissey, left, Company C "Dustoff", 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, hooks a hoist harness to Staff Sgt. Michael Hile and his military working dog "Ronnie" from 554th Military Police Company July 15 near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.(US Army/Spc. Aubree Rundle) #
Lance Cpl. Jeremy D. Angenend, combat tracker handler, Military Police, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and his dog Fito play around at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Angenend and Fito have been partnered for two years. Angenend says that he and Fito have the same kind of goofy, outgoing personalities and they have fun together. "He never has a bad day," says Angenend, "I want no other dog." (USMC/Sgt. Megan Sindelar) #
A US Marine of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, waits for the arrival of an anti-explosives squad team after a roadside bomb was discovered by his sniffer dog, during a 48-hour operation in Marjah, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, on April 1, 2010.(Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images) #
US Marine anti-explosives team of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, blow up a roadside bomb in Marjah, Helmand province, on April 1, 2010. (Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images) #
US Marine anti-explosives squad members check a crater after their anti-explosives squad team blew up a roadside bomb discovered by their sniffer dog in Marjah, Helmand province, on April 1, 2010. A single Afghan man was detained with a scratch map and a mobile number written on his hand nearby the site where the roadside bomb was found.(Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)#
Paris, a coalition force military working dog, drinks water in Farah province, Afghanistan, on November 26, 2012.(USMC/Sgt. Pete Thibodeau) #
A dog belonging to a German soldier bites an Afghan during riots prior to a soccer match in Kabul's main stadium, on February 15, 2002. The match was to be a goodwill game between peacekeepers and an Afghan team when an overflow crowd began fighting their way through the gates, and Afghan police beat back the crowd with tree branches, strips of rubber, and the butts of their rifles, injuring at least 50 people, according to German peacekeeping medics. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #
Dog handler Sergeant Justin McGhee and his dog Archie, with the US Army's 67th Engineer Detachment, run for cover during a gun battle with suspected Taliban militants near the village of Jilga in Arghandab District north of Kandahar on July 8, 2010.(Reuters/Bob Strong) #
A U.S. Marine dog handler attends to his his Improvised Device Detection Dog, after he was injured and rescued by a helicopter of the U.S. Army Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment, on the outskirts of Sangin, in the Helmand Province on June 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan deminer working with a dog on the outskirts of Kabul, on September 13, 2012. (Daud Yardost/AFP/Getty Images) #
Demining dogs work out at the Mine Detection and Dog Center (MDC) in Kabul on August 28, 2012. The center maintains around 200 dogs, some of them operational, some under training. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Army Specialist Joe Keck, who lost his left arm in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan in July 2006, and his new service dog Nolls sit on his bed at the residence at the National Education for Assistance Dog Service (NEADS) training facility in Princeton, Massachusetts, on June 25, 2007. (Reuters/Brian Snyder) #
Airman 1st Class Jason Fischman, 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron pararescueman, hoists a U.S. Army tactical explosive detection dog into a HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during a joint rescue training scenario at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on June 21, 2013. (USAF/Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade) #
U.S. Army soldiers of 82nd Airborne Division and sniffer dog Alex sleep in a compound of Afghan security forces at night before a mission in Zahri district of Kandahar province, on May 30, 2012. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov) #
US Army occupational therapist Sergeant Paul McCollough and Zeke, a therapy dog, at the Role 2 medical clinic in Kandahar military base, southern Afghanistan, on August 19, 2011. Zeke, a five year old labrador retriever who has a rank of Sergeant First Class, is trained to help soldiers struggling with stress and war trauma. Therapy dogs were first introduced in the war zone in Iraq in 2007 to replicate the psychological benefits the troops gain from US homeland care facilities employing specially trained dogs.(Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #
A US Marine from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines plays with a trained dog at Shagali patrol base, in Musa Qala District, Helmand province on February 3, 2011. Each trained dog used for special purposes in the military can cost 70,000 USD or more.(Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images) #
Czech Army dog handler, Staff Sgt. Joseph Reisinger, comforts Altos, an explosives protection dog, at Forward Operating Base Shank on September 30, 2012, in Logar province, Afghanistan. Altos was injured during combat operations earlier in the day.(US Army/Spc. Alexandra Campo)#
Basco, a patrol explosive detector dog with the 627 Security Forces Squadron, and his handler, Sergeant Matthew Templet, search for explosives in an abandoned house in Haji Ghaffar village during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 27, 2010. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Marine dog handler Sgt. Mark Behl, left, of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force K9 unit, and another Marine, perform first aid on U.S. Military working dog Drak, after he was wounded in a bomb attack in Sangin, Helmand province, on September 8, 2011. Drak's own handler, Sgt Kenneth A. Fischer, was also wounded in the bomb attack, which also killed several civilians.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
U.S. Marines from 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 8, carry Drak, an injured bomb-tracking dog, to an awaiting helicopter at Forward Operating Base Jackson on September 8, 2011. Both Drak and his handler, Sgt Kenneth A. Fischer, were flown out of the country for surgery and recovery. Eventually, in line with military custom, Fischer will adopt Drak and take him home. (USMC/Cpl. Logan W. Pierce) #
A coalition security force member stands watch with his loyal partner during a mission that arrested a Haqqani facilitator in Pul-e 'Alam district, Logar province, on January 28, 2013. (U.S Army/Pfc. Coty M. Kuhn) #
U.S. Army Spc. Mike Ballard stands with Apollo, his service dog, during an archery shooting session, on May 17, 2012, in Puyallup, Washington. Ballard says his dog helps him get through the worst symptoms of the post-traumatic stress disorder that are a remnant of an explosion in Afghanistan that ended his career as an Army medic. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) #
A U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico as part of exercise Emerald Warrior 2011 on March 1, 2011. Emerald Warrior is an annual two-week joint/combined tactical exercise sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command designed to leverage lessons learned from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.(USAF/Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez) #
A military working dog looks at the camera as US Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines clean their weapons before a patrol outside new Mirage base, on the south of Musa Qala District, Helmand province, on February 4, 2011.(Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Marine Cpl. Kyle Click, a 22-year-old improvised explosive device detection dog handler with 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, shares a moment with his dog Windy while waiting to resume a security patrol on February 27, 2012. (USMC/Cpl. Reece Lodder) #
Paris, a coalition force military working dog, stands in a tactical vehicle in Farah province, on November 24, 2012.(USMC/Sgt. Pete Thibodeau) #
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joseph Nunez and Viky, an improvised explosive device detection dog, both attached to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, search the perimeter of a compound for hidden threats during Operation Grizzly in Helmand province on July 18, 2013. (USMC/Cpl. Alejandro Pena) #
US Army Specialist Justin Coletti of the Afghanistan K-9 combat tracker team rests with Dasty, a Belgian Malinois, at an airfield on Forward Operating Base Pasab following a five-hour overnight air assault mission with Bravo Company, 2-87 Infantry Battalion, in Kandahar province on August 15, 2011. Dasty who has a rank of a Sergeant, is a military working dog trained to patrol and locate a targeted individual. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #
Service members pet the 98th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control combat stress dog, Major Eden, at Bagram Air Field on January 21, 2014. (USAF/Senior Airman Kayla Newman) #
In this image made from an undated video provided by the Taliban in Afghanistan, on February 7, 2014, its fighters stand by a military working dog belonging to NATO forces that its spokesman said they captured during a battle in Afghanistan in Laghman province, east of Kabul. The NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan confirmed that one of its military dogs went missing during a mission in December. It gave no other details. (AP Photo/Taliban in Afghanistan) #
US Army Staff Sergeant Lindsey Thompson (right) of US Forces Afghanistan K-9 unit looks at Mayo, a German Shepherd as they prepare to board a convoy of armored vehicles from Forward Operating Base Pasab on an overnight ground assault mission in Kandahar province on August 14, 2011. Mayo who has a rank of Technical Sergeant is a military working dog trained for patrol and find bombs and improvised explosive devices. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan student listens to the heartbeat of a dog during Operation Outreach Afghanistan's tour of the Camp Phoenix veterinary clinic. (US Army National Guard/Capt. Mike Thompson) #
USMC military police attached to 1st Battalion, 6th regiment, Charlie company relaxes with bomb sniffer dog corporal "Buttom" in Huskers camp on the outskirts of Marjah in central Helmand on January 25, 2010. (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images) #
A soldier, part of the NATO forces, carries a sniffing dog after a gun battle in Kabul, Afghanistan, in this April 16, 2012 photo. A brazen, 18-hour Taliban attack on the Afghan capital ended early Monday when insurgents who had holed up overnight in two buildings were overcome by heavy gunfire from Afghan-led forces and pre-dawn air assaults from U.S.-led coalition helicopters.(AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach, of Madison, Wisconsin, gets a kiss from Casey, a four-year-old yellow labrador that he worked with while deployed in Afghanistan, as the two are reunited during a surprise ceremony at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 17, 2013. Gundlach thought he was traveling to the Iowa Capitol to tell state officials why he should take ownership of the dog, which has been working for the state fire marshal's office. Gundlach didn't realize officials already had made arrangements to get another dog for explosives detection. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) #
Captain Katie Kopp from 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, talks to therapy dog Hank during Hank's visit to Combat Outpost Nangalam in the Pech River Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province on July 3, 2012. Hank is the only Boston Terrier therapy dog deployed in this region to interact with soldiers as a stress relief. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Lee, master at arms, and Petty Officer 1st Class Valdo, working dog, sleep on a hospital floor in Kandahar. Valdo and Lee both were wounded by shrapnel in a rocket propelled grenade attach in Bala Murghab District, Badghis Province, on April 4, 2011. Both Lee and Valdo were awarded Purple Heart medals. Valdo fully recovered after five surgeries, served another year, then retired and now lives with Lee in New Jersey. (USAF/Master Sgt. Kevin Wallace) #
U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Lisa K. Nilsson, sergeant major, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, pets a military working dog at Patrol Base Boldak, Helmand Province, on March 6, 2013. (USMC/Cpl. Ashley E. Santy)