Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marine donkey mascot leaving Iraq for Omaha

A Marine donkey is coming to Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald is reporting.

In the summer of 2008, a wounded and malnourished donkey wandered into Camp Taqaddum, a US military base in Iraq's al-Anbar province. Impressed by the Marine-toughness of the donkey now named Smoke, the camp commandant, Col. John Folsom, declared him the unit's mascot. Folsom found a veterinarian to treat Smoke's wounds, de-worm him, and supply the necessary shots for the equine. Some Marines built a stable for Smoke and he served as a therapy animal at the camp. Then Folsom's unit was rotated out, another Marine unit took its place--Smoke stayed--but when an Army unit moved into the camp, it didn't want Smoke as a Mascot.

Now stateside, Folsom was worried about the donkey, but relaxed when he heard that the donkey was in the care of an Iraqi skeik. After tracking the sheikh down, Folsom asked if he could bring Smoke to America. The skeik replied that he could, only that Smoke was in the care of a family who would need $30,000 to compensate them for their loss.

He was lying. Smoke was actually homeless again.

Next month Folsom will travel to Iraq and bring him to America. After a short quarantine period, Smoke will reside at Omaha's Take Flight Farms, a therapy animal not-for-profit facility.

Folsom, who is now retired, has a wonderful outlook on life. An appeals court ruled that the charity he runs had to pay $1.7 million to another charity with a similar name and web address.

“That's old news as far as I'm concerned,” Folsom told the World-Herald. “I've got a life to live, missions to accomplish.”

Semper fi.

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Anonymous said...

The Army refused to adopt him? Wow! A donkey (or is it a Jackass) is the Armys West Point mascot. I guess the Coc just provede themselves a bunch of A$$es! Being a dogface, I'm ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the mascot for the United States Military Academy is a mule.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, John

Semper Fidelis!

John Folsom
Colonel, USMCR (ret)