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Rachet and Sgt. Gwen

Story ID:4381
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Travel
Location:Baghdad - Iraq
Person:Sgt. Gwen Beberg
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At the Care2 Petition site I was glad to read that two Marines were
being disciplined for tossing an innocent puppy off a cliff in Iraq. This
e-mail re the incident made its rounds on our e-mail lines, and anyone
who cares about animals was outraged. Twelve thousand people signed
and some voiced their anger at this uncalled for cruelty. It was good to read
today that one of the Marines was being expelled and the other was
being disciplined.

But today I also read another sad story entitled "Military Rips Dog from
Soldier in Iraq, Dog Doomed to Almost Sure Death!" The writer notes that
she supports our troops, our men and women in the military -- even knowing
that they're not all worthy of respect, but she supports them and offers her
prayers for their safe return home as do most of us I'm sure. (I'm presuming
the writer is a she.)

She writes that SPCA, along with other volunteers, are engaged in
"Operation Baghdad Pups," which works to bring home the dogs and cats that
our soldiers have befriended and cared for in Iraq. Their wonderful motto is
"No Buddy Left Behind," and it certainly is a worthy endeavor. These animals
have probably made many a soldier's life less stress-filled.

One of these soldiers- Sgt.Gwen Beberg found her prolonged stay in Iraq more
bearable when she found a little ball of fur she named Rachet. He made each
end of day for her more special and even enjoyable. Those of us who have pets
understand her feelings only too well.

Now full-grown, Rachet was accepted into Operation Baghdad Pups which meant
that Sgt. Gwen knew her baby would be waiting for her, safe in Minnesota with
her family until that day when she could finally return home after a 15-month
longer stay than her original committment.

In light of "Operation Baghdad Pups," and the seemingly widespread adoption
of dogs and cats by our soldiers--why would the unthinkable happen? Rachet,
beloved companion and lifeline to Sgt. Gwen Beberg --on his way to SPCA
International rescue experts at the Baghdad Airport to be flown home to
Gwen's parents in Minneapolis was confiscated by Beberg's commanding officers
and held in Iraq to face certain death. (SPCA)

And what for me-- it is unbelievable that military regulations supposedly exists
for active duty troops to NOT befriend animals. Doing so, they can face immediate
court-martial and some even see their animal shot in the head from
commanding officers. This is the protocul of the U.S. Military? I can't believe it.
It doesn't make any sense.

Sgt. Gwen is now under investigation for befriending Rachet. Not only has
she lost the dog she saved and who in turn saved her, now her freedom is in
danger! I even went to Snopes and Truth or Fiction - hoping to find that this
is an urban legend. Even now, I still hope it is even though I didn't find it at
either of those two sites.

If you want to help Gwen and live in MN, contact your senators and ask for help.
If you live elsewhere, you can also contact your senators regarding this. Not only
do we have to save Rachet from death, but Sgt. Gwen from an undeserved
disciplining for saving and befriending a dog! I hope you agree. I am not proud
of what appears to be a very hard-hearted American military machine in Iraq.

(This article is said to be also posted under Animal Advocacy. Companion and
Service Dogs, Crimes Against Canines, and Furbabies in Need of Help.)