War Hero Inducted Into Hall of Fame

On November 6, 2011, at a ceremony in Birmingham, Alabama, a war hero was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame.
What’s unusual is that the hero is a dog, and the Hall of Fame is an Animal Hall of Fame.
Blek is a German shepherd who recently retired as a U.S. military dog.
Blek and his handler, Staff Sgt. Brent Olsen of 42nd Security Forces Squadron, have been through a lot together. While in Afghanistan in 2010, the pair was injured after a soldier stepped on a pressure plate, setting off a series of five mortar rounds.

After returning from Afghanistan and several months of surgeries and physical therapy, Olsen and Blek were reunited. Because of the injuries Blek sustained, he was no longer allowed to work, but that didn’t stop the reunion, as Olsen adopted the dog who’d been his constant companion in Afghanistan.
“He’s my best friend,” he said. “I don’t go anywhere without him now, and I feel bad when I leave him. He’s definitely part of my family. He’s done good things, saved peoples’ lives.”
The Alabama Animal Hall of Fame is a committee of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Foundation which recognizes animals who have demonstrated extraordinary loyalty, courage, service or intuitive abilities in its relations with humans.
According to Olsen, no one fits that description better than Blek.
“He’s being inducted for what we did as a team in Afghanistan. We found (improvised explosive devices.) He’s an incredible dog,” Olsen said.
Olsen said he was glad to see a military working dog being honored for his bravery and hoped it would shed some light on the unique part dogs have played in wars throughout history. The Romans used to put spikes on them and run them through the crowds of soldiers. In Vietnam dogs saved countless lives by sniffing out snipers and countless other tasks.
“Beyond that, they love unconditionally,” Olsen said. “Blek will bend over backwards for me. I love my job, and he loves working. Some people don’t understand how truly great dogs are.”
[Source: Maxwell Air Force Base]
Good dog, Blek !
~Eowyn

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