Vanguard Spotlight Book of the Month: November 2022: Student

Monthly Reads from ASU-Beebe Students, Faculty and Staff.

ASU-Beebe Employee Favorites

Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book.

Featured ASU-Beebe Student: Joshua Sledd

Joshua Sledd

About Joshua

Student: Joshua Sledd 

Classification: Freshman  

Major: Mid-level Education Major 

Future Plans: Transferring to ASU-Jonesboro to complete Bachelor’s Degree. After getting a teaching job, Joshua hase plans of obtaining his Master’s Degree.  

Other information about Joshua:  

Joshua is a Veteran. He served in the U.S. Army from 2004 – 2007 and was deployed to Iraq from 2005 – 2006. During his deployment, Joshua was able to see military working dogs in action. 

About the Book

Sergeant Rex
          Reviewed by Joshua Sledd

Mike Dowling's book, Sergeant Rex, gives the reader a first-hand account of a Military Working Dog team. Dowling tells about what led him to joining the Marine Corps and learning of the military's use of dogs. Dogs have not been used in a war zone for anything but guard dogs since Vietnam. Sending them to Iraq in 2004 was to be a test run for the Marine Corps. It was by luck that Dowling ended up as a dog handler. Going in on an open contract, Dowling could have been given any job in the Marines.

Dowling would go through Military Police training and graduate at the top of his class and was selected to be a dog handler. He and Rex qualified the summer before he was to deploy to Iraq. Rex had been trained in sniffing out weapons and explosives materials. Even though no one really had a manual to go by for using dog teams in was zones, once in Iraq Rex was very well received, everyone loved having a dog to search for bombs.

Dowling and Rex were tasked with all kinds of missions, from gate duty, to searching homes, and clearing roads to make sure no improvised explosive devices (IED) were planted. Rex's nose uncovered all kinds of weapons, ammo, and explosive materials during their tour. The danger was all too real, and Dowling and Rex cheated death on more than one occasion. Not only did he have to worry about the threat of snipers and bombs, but his dad's health was on his mind. From action to forming unbreakable friendships, this book offers something at every turn.

Video Excerpt

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