Smoke the donkey, arrived in the United States Thursday and will be out of quarantine tomorrow. For those of you who don’t already know Smoke, he is an Iraqi donkey who was adopted by Marines at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, in 2008.
He became the mascot of 1st Marine Logistics Group, but Marines were forced to abandon him when they pulled out. Retired Col. John Folsom, who was the camp commandant, never forgot about Smoke. Late last year he began working to bring him to Nebraska where Folsom runs Wounded Warriors Family Support, a non-profit that helps families of troops wounded or killed in combat.
Smoke’s 6,000-mile trip across the globe took him to Turkey and Germany and lasted more than a month. Folsom and Terri Crisp, who works for SPCA International, fought tooth and nail to get Smoke home, running into red tape and roadblocks the whole way.
For more details pick up next week’s Marine Corps Times on newsstands Monday.
Here are a few photos from Smokes globe-trotting journey that took him from Iraq, to Turkey, to Germany, to New York.