Lucca, a 12-year-old German Shepherd, has earned a medal after being injured during serving in Afghanistan.
In London on Tuesday, Lucca received the Dickin Medal, which is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. The award is “the highest award any animal in the world can achieve while serving in military conflict,” according to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
Lucca has completed over 400 missions with the US Marina Corps and was hit by an IED in 2012 while searching for explosives with her handler Cpl Juan Rodriguez, which resulted in the loss of her leg. Rodriguez stayed by her side during her emergency treatment and recovery.
Lucca retired in California after making a full recovery. She is now living with her former handler, Gunnery Sergeant Chris Willingham. Willingham said in a press release, “She has become an inspiration to everyone she meets and I am so very proud to see her decorated with this prestigious award.”
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