U.S. Marine Dog Receives the UK’s Highest Award for Valor


Lucca, with Gunnery Sergeant Willingham, is the first US Marine Corps dog to receive the PDSA Dickin medal.
Photo courtesy PDSA/PA, via theguardian.com

A 12-year-old female German Shepherd Dog named Lucca—who took part in more than 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and who lost a leg in action—has been given the highest award for an animal by the The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in the U.K. The PDSA Dickin Medal, named for the organization’s founder, was created in 1943 to honor the service of animals in war zones:

Jan McLoughlin, the director general of the PDSA, said: “Lucca’s conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty makes her a hugely deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin medal. Her ability and determination to seek out arms and explosives preserved human life amid some of the world’s fiercest military conflicts.”

Lucca’s owner, Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, brought the hero dog to London for the award ceremony. Congratulations to both Lucca and Gunnery Sergeant Willingham!

Click here for the full story.


The PDSA Dickin medal features the words “For Gallantry” and “We Also Serve.”
Photo via wikipedia

2 thoughts on “U.S. Marine Dog Receives the UK’s Highest Award for Valor”

  1. I just came across this while researching fly fishing for a marketing class; I have always had a soft spot for dogs- mine have helped me through so much in life- and this story stopped me in my tracks. God Bless every member of the armed forces- and especially the dogs that so selflessly protect their handlers and love unconditionally. I have read many stories, most from WWII, about dogs being recognized for their duty and always think about how much they helped (on the field- and off duty as support for their human)… yet, this photo… the look in Lucca’s eyes- the genuine smile on the soldiers face… The bond so obvious in one photo… just is a story I will hold close forever. Thank you, Lucca, for your 400 missions and to your human- thank you for your service. Finally, Thank you to the UK for recognizing such a worthy pup! I am so glad I ran into this story tonight. God Bless.

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