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Old 01-21-2010, 10:17 PM
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Default OT, but a nice break, and it might make a certain one among us smile.

Jason Weiser 07-13-2004, 02:31 PM Iraqi kitten reunites with Fort Carson soldier

posted by: Susan Wells (Web Producer)

Created: 7/12/2004 11:12 AM MDT - Updated: 7/12/2004 2:50 PM MDT

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) - Saving Pvt. Hammer became a mission for Fort

Carson Staff Sgt. Rick Bousfield of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Pfc. Hammer is an Iraqi tabby cat the unit adopted after he was born

last fall at a base in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad. When Bousfield

found out his unit was leaving Iraq in March, he decided he couldn't

leave a member of his team behind.

"He has been through mortar attacks," said Bousfield, a 19-year Army

veteran. "He'd jump and get scared liked the rest of us. He is kind of

like one of our own."

Pfc. Hammer got his name from the unit that adopted him, Team Hammer.

Soldiers would tuck Hammer in their body armor during artillery

attacks, and in return, Hammer chased mice in the mess hall and chased

the blues away among soldiers.

"He was a stress therapist," Bousfield said. "The guys would come

back in tired and stressed. Hammer would come back and bug the heck out

of you. He wiped away some worries."

The kitten earned his rank after nabbing five mice.

When Bousfield learned in January that his unit was going home in

March, he started looking for ways to rescue the kitten.

He sent an e-mail to Alley Cat Allies, a national clearinghouse of

information on stray cats, asking for help.

"We had to say yes to an American soldier in Iraq," said group

director Becky Robinson. "We had to do it for the animal's sake and the

men's sake. They were over there, fighting, doing their job -- and

rescuing a kitten."

Her group turned to Military Mascots, which helps service members who

befriend pets while they are deployed on foreign soils.

Alley Cat Allies raised $2,500 for Hammer's shots, sterilization,

paperwork and a plane ride to the United States.

Hammer left Iraq with his unit in March, then flew from Kuwait to San

Francisco in cargo-class, and then flew first class with an Alley Cat

Allies volunteer to Denver.

Bousfield met the kitten at the airport.

"Only my husband would go to this extreme for a cat," Sheri Bousfield


Hammer is now in Colorado Springs with the Bousfields; their children

Tiffany, 15, and Jeffrey, 13; the family's five cats, a dog, hamsters

and two geckos.


evilmike 07-13-2004, 03:35 PM *sighs*

Army people...I swear.


TiggerCCW UK 07-13-2004, 06:00 PM Kind of ruins the hard as nails image a bit


graebarde 07-15-2004, 05:23 AM You'd probably have seen the 'hard as nails' if you'd try to harm PFC Hammer. Mascot/pets are a great stress releiver, and the sarge seems to be a cat lover before hand too with what apprears to be FIVE other cats..

Hey Chuck.. any of your cats imported strays?


TiggerCCW UK 07-15-2004, 07:33 PM I'll not argue with that.

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