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Hughes the Donkey Helps

Hughes the donkey and Canadian soldier in Afghanistan in 2008.
(Photo: James McCarten - Canadian Press 4610561)

People might think that animals would not be much help to soldiers in today’s high-technology world, but sometimes the old ways are still the best!

More than 40,000 Canadians have served in Afghanistan since 2001, working to bring peace and help the people there recover after years of troubles. It is a very hard place for our soldiers to work. Much of the country is very mountainous, sometimes making it challenging to transport things even with four-wheel-drive trucks!

Hughes the donkey was bought there by Canadian Armed Forces engineers to help carry their equipment while on patrol. They often have to move big loads through harsh terrain, so the help of the small-but-mighty Hughes has been much appreciated. Plus just seeing the cute little donkey put a smile on the soldiers’ faces. Life is dangerous for the men and women serving in Afghanistan and more than 155 of them have lost their lives over the years, but animals like Hughes have helped make their load just a little lighter.

Did You Know? Reading by the Bug Light!


During the First World War, using bright lights at night on the front lines was very dangerous. To avoid being spotted by the enemy, some soldiers used glow-worms to read maps and important messages after dark! These insects naturally give off a very soft blue-green light.

A Dog’s Best Friend
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