The dogs of war: K9 soldiers in Vietnam

2008-10-29 00:00

Leaving Jack is a tribute to the dogs who gave their lives to protect American and allied soldiers during the Vietnam war.

When this war was over some 400 dogs, trained in combat and having saved the lives of an estimated 10 000 soldiers, were classified “surplus military equipment” by the United States government and left behind to die horrible deaths at the mercy of the Vietnamese. This book is about one such dog who served his country with bravery and courage and embodies all the K9 soldiers whose human partners still weep long tears in remembrance of their loyal partners.

This story is about Jack, a yellow Labrador retriever, who mysteriously appears out of the jungle one day, wounded and dying, and is rescued by a young American soldier by the name of Fletcher who himself is a broken man, having tragically lost his entire family before enlisting on what he hoped would be a suicide mission.

The reader is taken on a chilling roller-coaster ride with Private Fletcher and Jack as they fight for survival in a hostile enemy environment — showcasing the heroism and the amazing bond which was forged between man and dog during those brutal, terrible days of the senseless Vietnam war. But we are also warmed by the camaraderie and tenderness of the soldiers who were willing to put their own lives at risk in order to save the life of this intrepid four-legged trooper which had brought a measure of sanity into their bleak and hopeless existence.

Leaving Jack is a work of fiction set against a backdrop of true events and a book for all dog lovers, regardless of age or gender. It will make an excellent filler for those Christmas stockings this year.

Glynne Anderson

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