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Iraq Veteran Refuses to Leave Therapy Donkey Behind

It’s a U.S. Marines tradition to never leave a comrade behind, for John Folsom that rule applied to Smoke the donkey.

It’s a U.S. Marines tradition to never leave a comrade behind. As far as John Folsom was concerned, that rule applied to Smoke, a wild donkey he met while serving in Iraq: Folsom devoted more than three years to arranging Smoke’s transport to Nebraska. For more inspiring stories like this one, subscribe to Guideposts magazine.

Smoke and the Base Operations Section Marines at Camp al Taqaddum in  Iraq

1 of 6/ Smoke and the Base Operations Section Marines at Camp al Taqaddum in Iraq


Civilian contractor Lance Robinson, a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve, visits Smoke

2 of 6/ Civilian contractor Lance Robinson, a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve, gets acquainted with Smoke.

John holds Smoke while he gets his blood drawn by Capt. Brian Smith

3 of 6/ John Folsom holds Smoke while he gets his blood drawn by Capt. Brian Smith.

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Smoke receives a smooch at the Freedom Walk.

4 of 6/ Smoke receives a smooch at the Freedom Walk.


Smoke hangs out in the office with Sgt. Lonnie Forrest

5 of 6/ Smoke hangs out in the office with Sgt. Lonnie Forrest.


John Folsom and Smoke at the Take Flight Farms fundraiser at Bar Hills Farm in 2011

6 of 6/ John Folsom and Smoke at the Take Flight Farms fundraiser at Bar Hills Farm in 2011

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All God's Creatures 2023 Devotional

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A Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. This inspiring devotional brings you 365 touching stories of animals who appear at just the right moment providing comfort and bringing us closer to our faith.

Plus, enjoy four FREE beautiful, custom-designed note cards and envelopes with any print edition purchase.

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