User submit brings up a tough soldier moral question…you be the judge (5 Photos)

I try to avoid politics, so on this one: you be the judge.
"On Aug. 31, Army Spc. Kevin Shumaker, 24, died of rabies after being bitten by a stray dog in Afghanistan. Shumaker was the first U.S. soldier to die of rabies since the Vietnam War. In response, the Army launched a public education offensive, hanging up posters like the one above that warn of the deadly viruses lurking within even the cuddliest of creatures." According to a study released by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in September, 20,522 service members sustained animal bites between January 2001 and December 2010. That's more than 5.6 bites per day, if you're keeping score at home.
The vast majority of the troops were bitten on U.S. soil, where rabies is rare. (So rare, in fact, that Spc. Shumaker is the only U.S. citizen to die of the disease this year.) But, of the 643 servicemen and women who were bit on the battlefield, only 117 received rabies vaccines and only 25 received the treatment that would be necessary for recovery had they actually contracted the disease. Army medical officials are currently retracing their steps to make sure there aren't any soldiers other than Spc. Shumaker who were bitten by rabid animals. The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits soldiers from “adopting as pets or mascots, caring for, or feeding any type of domestic or wild animal.” As the Armed Forces Health Surveillance System study points out, "even minor animal bite injuries can have serious consequences — particularly bites inflicted by wild animals (including bats, foxes, skunks, and raccoons), feral cats and dogs, and pets with unknown rabies vaccination statuses."


  • Stan_Dalone

    R.I.P Kevin Shumaker, that's a tough call to be sure. I love dogs and know that, while I woulld be cautious as I have been biten before. I am not shy when it comes to them. I would be vulnerable

  • Spotter

    I wonder how that vaccination rate compares to other nations? Thinking about nations that have serious rabies issues, like Greece? Maybe the rate is so low becuase the problem is so off the radar within the US?

  • etcrr

    those would be interesting statistics, however the local populus has to be effected at a much higher rate

  • Ghost in the Machine

    Well, at least it's good to see that Spc. Schumaker's death has been acted upon by the Army and not just written off. I wonder how his family and loved ones feel about what so easily could've been dealt with prior to his posting? Who expects to be killed by rabies?

  • ggg

    RIP Spc. Schumaker. I most likely would of done the same thing he did though. I can agree with the message about being careful with them as a reminder, but don't do it using comical posters.

  • Alexis

    Thanks for the Kucinich link, Clif! Notalib, acricdong to you wingnuts, the AIG employees who got $1,000,000 bonuses is legal because there was a CONTRACT IN PLACE. Well, guess what? THE ACLU WON THE RIGHT TO HAVE THESE TORTURE PHOTOS RELEASED! So it appears President Obama may not have a leg to stand on in this matter. Even Bob Gates said ALL THE PHOTOS WOULD BE RELEASED. So again, if contracts are viable and court decisions are too, the photos must be released! Right, pal? You neocons don’t want the photos released because you know it will prove us liberals correct once again..that the torture under George Bush Dick Cheney was heinous and illegal!

    • gamerscout

      …Pull your head out of your ass.

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