Capt. Manuel Zepeda, the commander of Company F, Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, was unapologetic. If the Lab on the patrol had been hurt, the Marines would have lost their best weapon for detecting roadside bombs — and would have called for a medevac helicopter, just as they would for a human. An attack on the Lab was an attack on a fellow warrior.
As Captain Zepeda put it that day, “We consider the dog another Marine.”
“As an aside, here’s a tip for using any bag: load it before you leave, unload it when you return. Keep only the barest essentials in the pockets. If you do this, you’ll load only what you absolutely need for the specific trip and when you return you can load items into your inbox, as needed, for processing. This will train you to pack and carry less.”—