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Summer 2004

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Private Hammer is a 10-month old tabby cat, adopted by an Army group late last year in Iraq. Hammer came to be one of the group - his duty was keeping the base clear of mice and rats.
    When the group was scheduled to rotate back home, SSgt Bousfield wasn't about to leave a team member behind. He organized stateside groups, and after a lot of organization and effort, got the cat back to his home in Colorado.

One of the groups involved is Alley Cat Allies. That's a link to their story on Pvt Hammer, with more photos and details of the efforts involved.
    Another group is Military Mascots, which helps bring adopted dogs fom Iraq. Here's the story of Dusty, a dog rescued in Iraq,

In July 2003, two large statues of Saddam Hussein were torn down. The metal was taken to the Iraqi sculptor who made the statues, and he made a new one, this time commemorating US soldiers who fought and died in Iraq.
    The statue (there are good photos on the site) shows a soldier kneeling before a memorial of boots, rifle, and helmet. Behind him is a young Iraqi girl, reaching out to touch his shoulder.
    The statue was moved from Iraq to Ft Hood, Texas, early in 2004.