normal_post - Doggedly, from Iraq to America - Lifestyle, Culture and Arts Author Topic: Doggedly, from Iraq to America  (Read 2116 times)

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Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« on: July 20, 2012, 03:13:53 PM »
From Baghdad to America

Life after War for a Marine and His Rescued Dog

Jay Kopelman

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Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman won the hearts of readers everywhere with his moving story of adopting an abandoned puppy named Lava from a hellish corner of Iraq. He opened the door for other soldiers to bring dogs home, and in From Baghdad to America, Kopelman once again leads the pack with his observations on the emotional repercussions of war.

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Jay Kopelman and Lava, Iraq, 2004

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Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 03:28:20 PM »
Here, for the first time, Kopelman holds nothing back as he responds to the question, “Why did you save a dog instead of a person?” The answer reveals much about his inner demons—and about the bigger picture of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He talks about what it’s like to return to the States and examines the shocking statistics to come out of Iraq: Depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, and broken relationships are at record highs for the men and women who serve there. Kopelman credits Lava with helping him to endure combat and the pain of war, as well as helping him deal with the surprising difficulties of returning to everyday life. Civilians have a hard time understanding what being a Marine means, and the adjustment to living among them is hard for these soldiers. This book attempts to shed light on that for all readers.

http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 03:38:23 PM »
 It can cost as much as $4,000 to send a dog to the United States. It can also be dicey, considering the military forbids keeping pets in a combat zone.

Troops get help from family members, friends, animal rights groups such as the SPCA and businesses. Private security firms are sometimes hired to transport the dogs from combat areas or far-away desert outposts to airports.

The service members say they have no choice.

They’re their dogs.

“They provide tremendous lift,” said Jay Kopelman, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel who wrote a book called “From Baghdad, With Love,” about his successful effort to bring a puppy named Lava to San Diego in 2005. “They provide a sense of home. What’s more American than a kid and his dog?”

http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/category/the-good-stuff/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 03:51:17 PM »
The bond can be hard to explain, said Kopelman, 48, a La Jolla resident. To understand, a person almost needs to have been there, he said. It’s war. It’s ugly. It’s deadly. Troops get tired, lonely, scared.

And here comes this mutt.

Or, in his case, a puppy found in the ruins of Fallujah.

Lava, so named for Kopelman’s Marines outfit, Lava Dogs, was dirty and flea-bitten. But Kopelman and his fellow Marines immediately felt a tug.

“You can’t save everything,” Kopelman said. “But you can save this small part of Iraq. And in doing so, you’re saving a part of yourself.”

http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/category/the-good-stuff/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 03:54:55 PM »
Not an easy thing

Kopelman was one of the first to get a dog home from Iraq. There’s no road map for this. You wing it, he said. It’s one of the reasons he’s surprised the trend seems to be increasing.

He got help from an American reporter, the Iams pet food company and the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. And he wasn’t sure – until Lava finally arrived in the States – that it was going to work.

“It’s not an easy thing to do.”

With the war now five years old, U.S. bases are becoming more permanent and soldiers and Marines are staying in one place longer, leading them to befriend the dogs that routinely come looking for food and shelter.

That leads to a connection. And that leads the service members to think of doing the improbable: bringing them home.

Today’s members of the military have found that the Internet can play a key role in doing so.

http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/category/the-good-stuff/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 04:04:11 PM »
That’s how Marine Maj. Brian Dennis recruited help for Nubs’ rescue. And it’s how Capt. Jamisen Fox and his Marine buddies recently got seven puppies to San Diego from their remote outpost near the Syrian border.

“We never heard about Marines doing this,” Fox said.

One of the Marines sent a photograph of his puppy to a troop support organization, Operation Cookie Jar.

Thus began the effort. Operation Cookie Jar set up the flight and vaccines. The Marines managed to find an Iraqi veterinarian to give the shots and sign the necessary paperwork. Puppy carriers were shipped over.

Hundreds upon hundreds of e-mails were sent back and forth to make all the arrangements, said Fox, 33, a Camp Pendleton Marine. Finally, in February, vehicles from a private security firm rumbled to the outpost, 200 miles from Baghdad.

From Iraq, the puppies were flown to Kuwait and then to the United States.

Today?

Kopelman adopted two of the puppies, which now romp at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, a shelter that also helped in the effort. They are about 4 months old. They’re teething. They’re full of pep.

“We felt beholden to them,” Fox said, noting that the dogs had little chance of surviving in Iraq once the Marines left.

“Who was going to care for them?”

http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/category/the-good-stuff/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 04:08:08 PM »
Changed for the better

It’s tough being a dog in Iraq. They aren’t considered pets. They tend to run in packs. Many are malnourished. Some are mean. Some have been wounded and are missing legs.

Nubs, for one, had much of his ears sliced off by an Iraqi who believed it would improve the dog’s hearing and watchdog abilities.

Some of these dogs have never been treated kindly by a human, so any kind of affection can be richly awarded, Dennis said. He and Nubs were reunited March 22, when Dennis got back from Iraq, and they were recently featured on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Crisp, of the SPCA, and others discount criticism from some who question the time, energy and money spent to save dogs, considering the brutal toll on human beings in Iraq.

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 04:13:11 PM »
The service members’ lives are changed for the better because of the bonds they make with dogs, they say. Some have done multiple tours in Iraq. Fox, for one, has been deployed three times. Take away those bonds and they suffer.

Steve Ronk founded Operation Cookie Jar, the Sparks, Nev. organization that helped get the seven puppies out of Iraq. He’s a former military man who spent more than 60 months in Saudi Arabia.

At times, animals on base were rounded up and shot, Ronk said. He couldn’t bear it. He grabbed a cat once and put it under his shirt. He took it home. He saved two others as well.

So he felt compelled to help the Marines with the puppies, he said. He knows the heartache of deployment all too well.

“I’m still right there, right with them.”

http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 04:16:39 PM »
n.b. lava also helped jay kopelman find a wife. :)

jay8 - Doggedly, from Iraq to America - Lifestyle, Culture and Arts

According to Jay, Lava helped him sort things out “with and within” himself and showed him that they both needed more than just each other in life. This is the part where Lava, while on a walk in the park, takes off and “simply races up to a gorgeous woman at the park whom he'd noticed on previous outings, homed in on her seven-year-old son, and dragged the boy to the ground as if he were another puppy.” Long story short, that led to dates and such until eventually they got married.

http://alphabravocharliedelta.wordpress.com/

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Re: Doggedly, from Iraq to America
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 04:34:02 PM »
jay kopelman's books about lava (both became international bestsellers):

bbook - Doggedly, from Iraq to America - Lifestyle, Culture and Arts
"A Marine, a War, and the Dog Named Lava" By LCol Jay Kopelman

examples of the book in other languages:
1 - Doggedly, from Iraq to America - Lifestyle, Culture and Artsbook2 - Doggedly, from Iraq to America - Lifestyle, Culture and Arts

the second book:
104009044 - Doggedly, from Iraq to America - Lifestyle, Culture and Arts



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