KINSTON, NC (WNCT)- For the first time East Carolina University honored a war dog at its Vetereans Day Ceremony.
Ben, is not your ordinary dog. He’s a former sergeant in the U.S. Army. He’s served two tours in Afghanistan and a hero to a number of soldiers.
“Hundreds maybe thousands of young men and women came home from Afghanistan particularly the Kandahar region because of the exceptional bomb detection skills that this dog had,” Ben’s owner Kim Scarborough said.
Only one percent of dogs who enter the military actually make it through training and on to combat. Ben recognizes commands in four different languages. The 6-year-old no longer serves in the military. Due to his experiences he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“We stay away from motorcycles, mopeds, we stay away from horses,” Ben’s owner Paul Scarborough said.
Kim Scarborough says, “Gun shots, when he hears the guns, thunder, he thinks its explosives, rain bothers him, and wind, any type of severe weather.”
Most veteran war dogs go into law enforcement after they serve, but because of PTSD Ben lives on a farm in Lenoir County with the people that adopted him.
“Ben served his time, in the army, and Afghanistan, and it’s time for him now to just be a dog, he’s retired,” Paul Scarborough said.
Paul and Kim Scarborough adopted Ben when they found out he needed a home. They both say Ben has given them more than they could have imagined.
Paul Scarborough says, “He covers my back here on the farm.”
“I often say I’m not sure who saved who, Ben saved us at a time in our lives and we in turn give him a pleasant retirement,” Kim Scarborough said.
Now instead of standing on the front lines, he stands on the farm.
If you want information on how to help the nearly 70 war dogs who need a home visit see the links below.