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thedrifter
01-26-08, 09:59 AM
Dogs of war

The air terminal at Al Asad was particularly busy Saturday.

Security guards from Uganda were on their way home. Construction workers from Turkey were en route to bases throughout Iraq. Various civilian employees of the U.S. federal government were waiting for rides.

Hundreds of Marines crowded the terminal, some waiting for C-130 cargo planes to begin their journey home, others for helicopters to take them to outposts through Iraq.

Among the troops newly arrived "in-country" were Rex and Boniface, military working dogs from Camp Lejeune, N.C. They're experts at sniffing out explosives. They accompany Marines on patrol and, on command, will go for the throat of an enemy.

Rex, a Belgian malinois, and Boniface, a German shepherd, are headed for Rawah in the Euphrates River Valley. Each is on his third seven-month tour and is considered an honorary gunnery sergeant. This will probably be their last deployment.

"Seven months is a long time in dog-years," said Cpl. Quincy Jones, one of the handlers.

Tony Perry, in Al Asad, Iraq

Ellie