Reggie the Black Lab’s Adoption-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
An eRumor alleges that a veteran who was killed in action posthumously reached out to the new owner of his beloved dog, “Tank,” to explain his situation and to offer advice to care for the dog in a touching letter.
This eRumor is false, but various versions of it have been circling the Web since 2008.
Earlier versions of the eRumor claimed that the fallen soldier’s name was Peter Mallory, and that Mallory was posthumously awarded the Silver Medal for his courageous service.
Those claims were likely removed from the latest versions of the eRumor because they can easily be proven false. A Washington Post database of all the soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan does not include anyone named Mallory. The name “Mallory” also does not appear in a database operated by the website HomeofHeroes.com that lists every recipient of the Silver Star in the wars on terror.
Also, one of the photos used in the eRumor, which reportedly depicts Tank lying next to a kennel in a dog shelter, was taken from an animal group’s website. The photo shows a black lab that suffered a broken spine and had to be put to sleep.
The facts of the eRumor also do not make sense. Organizations like Dogs on Deployment and Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet help deployed veterans find temporary or forever homes for their dogs and pets. It seems unlikely that a solider would make an outside arrangement with an animal shelter because those organizations specialize in placing pets in loving, caring homes.
But although the story about Tank the black lab is false, the story’s larger point about veterans’ willingness to sacrifice for the greater good is accurate. That’s likely why the eRumor has persisted since 2008.