11 Nov
2014
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Veterans Day

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Most of you folks probably know this, but the reason Veterans Day falls on November 11 is because that’s the day in 1918 on which World War One ended. The holiday was originally Armistice Day, but was changed in 1954 to honor all veterans, living and deceased.

The story of Stubby and his comrade in arms John Conroy is one of our favorite veteran’s stories.

John Conroy met his best friend, Stubby, while an undergraduate at Yale in 1916. Despite the fact that Stubby was not yet 18 and therefore ineligible for the American army, Conroy smuggled Stubby aboard the transport SS Minnesota when the 26th “Yankee” Division set out for France. Although Conroy’s commanding officer wanted to ship Stubby stateside, Stubby had learned a modified salute, and charming Conroy’s hardnosed CO enough that he allowed Stubby to stay.

The Yankee Division served in four separate offensives, and Stubby, while still not officially a member of the U.S. Army, took shrapnel from a German grenade in the leg and survived a gas attack. Stubby proved so adept at knowing when German gas shells were incoming that while on guard duty during an early morning gas attack, he managed to save the hundreds of lives by waking the men of the Yankee Division in time for them to don their gas masks. Stubby even took down a German spy, earning a promotion to Sergeant. All told, Stubby saw 17 battles .

Returning stateside, Stubby was given a hero’s welcome, meeting President Woodrow Wilson. His military service done, Stubby volunteered for many causes, but especially took to heart his work with the Humane Society.

Here’s a picture of Stubby, wearing his many decorations:

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Stubby and Conroy went to college at Georgetown…Stubby was even the Hoya for a bit. He met Presidents Coolidge and Harding, and passed away in 1926. If you want to visit this particular veteran, his stuffed remains reside in the Smithsonian Institution.

DISCLAIMER: This post and the contents thereof are the views of only the author identified immediately above and do not necessarily represent the views of the New York Young Republican Club (the "NYYRC"), its officers or its members. The NYYRC expressly disclaims responsibility for the contents thereof and by its charter documents may not, and does not, endorse any candidate for any office, except in a general election.

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