Thanks...but you haven’t checked my profile page, have ya?
[BTW...I’m a big fan of yours]...:)
Have you ever heard of Private Woyjek (pronounced Voytek) of the Polish Army? During WW2, some Polish soldiers stationed in Iran purchased an orphaned bear cub and turned him into their unit mascot. He grew up around soldiers, walked on his hind legs, smoked cigarettes, and drank beer. When the Polish forces deployed to Italy as part of the British 8th Army, the Brits told them they couldn't take any pets or mascots along, so they inducted him into the service and assigned him to the 22nd Artillery Transport Company.
During the Battle of Monte Casino, the Poles were tasked with taking the mountain fortress, and Voytek was right there in the middle of the fight. For three days, he helped carry mortar shells up the side of the mountain.
The new unit insignia of the Polish 22nd Artillery Transport Company
After the war, Voytek and most of his army buddies refused to go home because of the communists being in charge, so they moved to Scotland. Voytek spent the rest of his life in luxury at the Edinburgh Zoo. His army buddies would come to wrestle with him every weekend and would bring him beer and cigarettes. When he finally died in 1963, he was given a full military funeral.