LINCOLN — Would you give up your pet to help your country? During World War II, thousands of Americans sent their pets to Fort Robinson in Nebraska to become soldiers. Now, “Major: A Soldier Dog” tells a little-known story of patriotism and sacrifice.
This children’s book is told from a dog’s perspective and is filled with colorful illustrations based on actual places and events.
More than 17,000 dogs trained at Fort Robinson in northwest Nebraska. The story fascinated author Trevor Jones, director and CEO of History Nebraska.
“The war dog program at Fort Robinson is a captivating part of Nebraska history, and we wanted to share it with children,” Jones said. “Major was a real dog donated to the military by a little boy named Sid, and we wanted to share this story of how dogs trained in Nebraska helped to win World War II.”
The Fort Robinson War Dog Training Center was established in September 1942. Families across the country donated their dogs, which were taught to be guards, scouts, messengers and sled dogs. “Major: A Soldier Dog” follows Major through his heartbreaking separation from his family, his training at Fort Robinson, his war service in Italy, his return home and reunion with his family.
“Major: A Soldier Dog” is available at History Nebraska sites, including the Fort Robinson History Center, the Nebraska History Museum, and Chimney Rock, as well as bookstores nationwide. Books are also available at history.nebraska.gov/publications/books.