Five Soldiers from Newnan, Georgia-based Bravo 2-121 were wounded in the attack. But no one was killed, and the Soldiers say that's because their dogs Sasha and Rufus attacked the intruder when he tried to enter their barracks.
Sgt. Devin Shaner sent this account of Rufus and his heroic act to the Times-Herald.com.
Our National Guard unit is currently deployed to Afghanistan. We recently had a suicide bomber attack our base.
Five soldiers were wounded in the blast, but the outcome could have been far worse.
We have had several dogs come onto our base from time to time, and we have somewhat adopted two of them. We have a small puppy named Sasha, and an older dog named Rufus.
On the night of the incident, both dogs were seen barking at and trying to attack someone in an Afghan police uniform near one of our buildings. Two of the five soldiers that were wounded heard the commotion and yelled at the dogs, which were right outside of their room.
Right after them yelling, chaos happened. The suicide bomber detonated himself in the doorway of the building. Amidst the smoke and confusion, soldiers were scrambling to find out what had happened.
Once everyone realized that we had taken casualties, everyone started to move and treat the wounded, and we began to secure the base.
After the five casualties had been medevaced to another base, secondary assessments of the area began. During that check, Rufus was found lying outside of the building.
Witnesses said they saw Rufus and Sasha biting the leg of the attacker as if they were trying to keep him from entering the building. Because of their efforts, the attacker was only able to make it to the building entrance. Had the dogs not tried to stop him, no one knows what the outcome would have been or how many more casualties we would have taken.
Plain and simple, Rufus saved countless lives.
Some people say they have read or heard stories of dogs with another sense in which they can detect danger. It was clear that Rufus sensed danger that night.
The next day, medics treated Rufus for his injuries sustained in the blast. Unfortunately, Sasha did not survive the attack.
Three of the wounded soldiers are returning to duty soon. They have had time to reflect on what happened, and they feel that they owe their lives and many of their brother's lives to the efforts of Rufus and Sasha.
To show their appreciation to Rufus, they are organizing an effort to have Rufus shipped back to the United States as they plan to adopt him. These three soldiers feel that people at home should know "The Rufus Story" as he is now viewed as a hero in their eyes.
-- SGT Devin Shaner
As it happens, our friend Robert Stokely is the co-leader of the unit's FRG. We looked after the two Soldiers medevaced to Germany (and who are now stateside), and Mr. Wolf of Blackfive has gotten word to the good people at Baghdad Pups who will be working on getting Rufus back to the US.
Update 25 Feb 2010: Photos of Rufus.