Thursday, November 03, 2005------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eric called me a couple of days ago and he is doing well. Not much to say about 'there' which makes me wonder what exactly IS going on that he isn't telling me. He did tell me that they (Lima Co) adopted, actually rescued' an Austrialian Shephard puppy during the election time. I sent him some dog toys because I have to admit that Austrailian Shepards have a special place in mine and Eric's heart because my current dog is mostly Austrailian Shepard and he is a sweetheart.
Now, the Marines may be very resourceful when it comes to first aid (see the previous 'tampon' story) but when it comes to naming pets .. well, let's just say they take the easiest route LOL. Because this new pup of theirs lives in the XOs' tent .. they named him Ox hehe.
The Marines and the Army have a bit of a different outlook when it comes to pets, the Army shoots them because they can be disease-carriers and the Marines rescue them!! I am glad they do though, because these guys need something to think about besides what they are doing during the missions they go on.. AND they need a touch of home because of the danger they are constantly facing in a war-zone.
I want to pass on the story of "Beans". You may have heard about Beans because this little pup was in the news lately. It just goes to show you that maybe, dogs are Marines 'best friends' too.
Photo (below): Staff Sgt. Stephen L. Prince, a military policeman, makes Beans feel at home from a long flight at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. Oct 5. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Steven R. Cushman
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2005) -- Not many people find a best friend in a paper sack half way around the world, in a country littered with war and terrorists. But, that is what happened when Marine Cpl. Jeffery A. Boskovitch, a Reserve Marine from Akron, Ohio, decided to befriend a tiny mutt. For some pocket change and little bit of candy, the pup became his. It would have been impossible to guess that this friendship would span half the globe, involve the Commandant of the Marine Corps, a couple of Army generals and a congressman, and pull the heartstrings of thousands of Ohio residents.
Boskovitch, a sniper with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, found the puppy when he decided to inspect a paper bag carried by an Iraqi boy sometime in June. Inside the bag was a small brown and black dog. He convinced the child to sell the puppy for a quarter and three jellybeans. The boy agreed and Boskovitch called the dog Beans.
Boskovitch and other members of the unit took care of the mutt and declared Beans their unofficial mascot. In a letter to his mother, he wrote, "Beans is so cool." He emailed photos of Beans to his mother and she began raising money to get Beans to Ohio.
Although Boskovitch grew up around dogs, he always wanted one of his own. According to Boskovitch's mother, Kathy Wright, he told his girlfriend he wanted to get a dog when he got home from Iraq.
"Jeff always wanted a dog .. his own dog. He liked big dogs, something he could wrestle with," said Wright.
However, Boskovitch did not get off the plane with the rest of the members of 3/25 when they returned to Cleveland Oct. 6. The young corporal was killed Aug.1 in an ambush attack which left five other Marine snipers dead as well. His wish to get Beans home to Ohio sent his mother on a mission.
"I never meant for Beans to be a replacement for my son. I just felt I had to honor his request," Wright said.
When the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, visited the families of the fallen warriors Aug.12 and asked if their was anything he could do, Wright showed him the picture of her son with Beans.
"Please help me get this dog home," Wright said she plead. "He smiled and said he would do whatever he possibly could."
Hagee stood by his word and established "Operation Beans." Finding Beans, however, proved to be more difficult than first imagined. Marines of 3/25 were hiding Beans.
"Finding Beans took a little while because the boys were hiding her. They were scared that if she was discovered, they'd have to get rid of her," Wright said.
Wright stayed steadfast, never giving up hope, knowing the dog was there somewhere. Hagee was determined as well, directing his staff to get everything worked out.
"If Beans can comfort the mother of a fallen Marine, then it is our pleasure to help," said Hagee's spokesman.
Referring to Hagee, Wright said, "He was so polite, compassionate and sincere. I know generals are busy and are used to barking out orders, but he wasn't a general, he was a gentleman,"
After a month and a half of phone calls and appealing to whoever would listen, everyone's persistence paid off. Beans was on her way to a new home. The logistics were all worked out, and the Marines would fund the flight for Beans to arrive aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., via Spain, or so everyone thought.
Days before her scheduled flight home, Beans would again face uncertainty. Orders to fly Beans across the world were not signed and the Army would not sign a waiver.
Wright, disheartened, called everyone she could think of, including Ohio Congressman, Dennis J. Kucinich. Once again, her determination proved triumphant. Beans was soon to be hers .. finally.
Wright credits Hagee, his staff, U.S. Army Generals George W. Casey and John P. Abizaid, and Congressman Kucinich for making her son's wish come true.
:"It was a joint effort among the Marines, the Army and even the Air Force, because Beans flew to North Carolina on a C-5. I just want to thank everyone. General Hagee, General Casey, General Abizaid, my congressman and all the many people I don't even know," Wright said.
Beans finally arrived at Cherry Point on Oct. 5. She made a trip to Camp Lejeune later that evening to spend a final night with her friends in 3/25.
Sgt. Derrick Moore, an Embark Chief from Brook Park, Ohio, volunteered to pick Beans up at Camp Lejeune and fly back with her.
"I know it means so much to Mrs. Wright. I felt it was an honor to pick up Beans and deliver Beans to her," said Moore.
Beans arrived in Ohio around 1:30 pm. on Friday.
"It was bittersweet. I knew Jeff wasn't getting off the plane, but I was so happy to have Beans," Wright said.
Beans was thin and seemed tired, but Wright said she had to take her to visit Jeffery before anything else.
"I took her to Holy Cross Cemetery where Jeff is buried. That was the first thing we did. I wanted him to see that she was here. Then I asked Jeff, 'Now what?'" Wright recalled.
As of Friday, Beans was getting checked out by the vet and taking a break from all the attention.
"She may have sand ticks or sand fleas. I mainly just wanted her to rest," said Wright.
Wright says she is not sure if dogs should be a part of a unit or not. She was sure there were many stories about Beans and her time spent with 3/25. She heard that Beans was a part of several missions, including alerting the unit to an ambush attempt.
Whether Beans deserves to pin on a rank is questionable. For now, she said she was just happy to finally have Beans with her.
"I'm the type of person who follows the rules. If the rules say 'no dogs', then I stand by that. I wouldn't want it to cause distractions or diseases. But, the reality is that people care for loving animals," said Wright.
There are numerous stories left untold by veterans who had reluctantly left their four-legged friends behind, but not this one. A friendship forged at war formed a mother's will. The mother's will tested a general's commitment. The general's commitment had, in the end, honored a warrior's final wish. Welcome to the United States, Beans.