Neil Shea’s dispatch from Kunar Province in Afghanistan:

A member of the 1st Platoon Comanche Company of the US Army pets a dog at a checkpoint in the Combat Outpost Lakon in Buwri Tana District, Khost Province on August 9, 2012. (Photo: Jose CABEZAS/AFP/GettyImages)

A member of the 1st Platoon Comanche Company of the US Army pets a dog at a checkpoint in the Combat Outpost Lakon in Buwri Tana District, Khost Province on August 9, 2012. (Photo: Jose CABEZAS/AFP/GettyImages)

“Here comes Lucky,” a soldier says. “Means we won’t get shot at today. Yesterday she didn’t show, and we got fucked up.” Lucky is sweet and hopeful, she curls between the camouflaged legs of the soldiers and they speak to her but are not allowed to touch. Regulations. I’m not bound by them so I kneel and whistle and she bounds over and folds herself softly into me. Someone has fashioned a collar for her. From the collar hangs a single silver dog tag. It reads DO NOT KILL.

“First Sergeant shot the last dog,” someone explains. The army does not allow mascots.


Lifted from: Andrew Sullivan

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