Courageous Dog Survives 9 Days Buried Under Tornado Wreckage

We’re taking a look at 13 of the luckiest, most inspiring pets of 2013. We’ll bring you stories of two new pets every weekday from now through the end of the year - then ask you to pick your favorite!


On November 17th, a tornado crashed through Washington, IL destroying Jacob Montgomery’s third floor apartment, reported the The Associated Press on He found himself forcefully separated from his dog Dexter, a 6 month old pit bull. Montgomery, who is a military police officer with the Illinois Army National Guard has trained for emergency situations, but now he found himself the victim of a disaster for the first time.

After searching through the debris several times, 9 days passed with no sign of Dexter. A sigh of relief fell over Montgomery when he was sent a message through Facebook from a group called Rescuing Animals in Need: “I’ve got your dog right here.” Dexter was partially buried in the wreckage where the apartment building used to stand but seemed in good shape, “As soon as Dexter saw me, his tail started going,” recalled Montgomery.

According to, with the motivation of his owner and a few sniffs of some hot dogs Dexter wiggled to freedom and the two were finally reunited. The veterinarian said, Dexter was malnourished with a few cuts and scrapes but had no real injuries and was going to be fine. Montgomery expressed, “all I had in my apartment is gone, but my dog was all I really had to worry about.”

This story beautifully represents how important organizations such as Rescuing Animals in Need really are. You might be able to help out pets around your neighborhood or around the world by supporting organizations like this. Or you can fulfill that holiday spirit of giving by volunteering at your local shelter this holiday season.

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How Do You Write An Obituary?

Wondering how to write an obituary? Publishing an obituary is usually an early step after a loved one passes away. Here are elements that are typically included:

  • Deceased’s full name (required)
  • Years of birth and death (required) and months (optional)
  • When and where the funeral or memorial service will be held (if applicable)
  • Names of family members, both surviving and predeceased (optional)
  • Chronology of major life events (optional)
  • Major life achievements and awards (optional)
  • Where flowers can be sent or charity donations made (optional)

Obituaries can also have different writing styles — as you will see in the obituary examples below — that you can match with the personality of your loved one:

  • Humorous
  • Efficient (i.e. short and succinct)
  • Lengthy (for those that loved to tell a good story!)
  • Self-written (for those that want to control the narrative of their own life)

There are, however, a few things that should never go into an obituary because these details make you and your family vulnerable to theft or fraud:

  • Home addresses
  • Maiden name
  • Complete dates of births and deaths

The reason for omitting these elements is that identity fraud can be a real problem, and there are unscrupulous people that may try and take advantage of your loved one. It can be a real headache for families, taking years to resolve in some cases.

Obituary Examples For Soldiers

Obituary For John A. Hottell

This self-penned obituary was written by a man who spent many happy years being part of the army. He says it “ it nurtured me, and it gave me the most satisfying years of my life”.

I am writing my own obituary for several reasons, and I hope none of them are too trite.

First, I would like to spare my friends, who may happen to read this, the usual clichés about being a good soldier. They were all kind enough to me and I not enough to them.

Second, I would not want to be a party to perpetuation of an image that is harmful and inaccurate: “glory” is the most meaningless of concepts, and I feel that in some cases it is doubly damaging.

And thirdly, I am quite simply the last authority on my own death.

I loved the Army: it reared me, it nurtured me, and it gave me the most satisfying years of my life. Thanks to it I have lived an entire lifetime in 26 years. It is only fitting that I should die in its service. We all have but one death to spend, and insofar as it can have any meaning it finds it in the service of comrades-in-arms.

And yet, I deny that I died FOR anything – not my Country, not my Army, not my fellow man, none of these things. I LIVED for these things, and the manner in which I chose to do it involved the very real chance that I would die in the execution of my duties.

I knew this, and accepted it, but my love for West Point and the Army was great enough – and the promise that I would someday be able to serve all the ideals that meant anything to me through it was great enough – for me to accept this possibility as a part of a price which must be paid for all things of great value. If there is nothing worth dying for – in this sense – there is nothing worth living for.

The Army let me live in Japan, Germany, and England with experiences in all of these places that others only dream about. I have skied in the Alps, killed a scorpion in my tent camping in Turkey, climbed Mount Fuji, visited the ruins of Athens, Ephesus, and Rome, seen the town of Gordium where another Alexander challenged his destiny, gone to the Opera in Munich, plays in the West End of London, seen the Oxford- Cambridge rugby match, gone for pub crawls through the Cotswolds, seen the night-life in Hamburg, danced to the Rolling Stones, and earned a master’s degree in a foreign university.

I have known what it is like to be married to a fine and wonderful woman and to love her beyond bearing with the sure knowledge that she loves me I have commanded a company and been a father, priest, income-tax advisor, confessor, and judge for 200 men at one time I have played college football and rugby, won the British National Diving Championship two years in a row, boxed for Oxford against Cambridge only to be knocked out in the first round and played handball to distraction – and all of these sports I loved, I learned at West Point. They gave me hours of intense happiness.

I have been an exchange student at the German Military Academy, and gone to the German Jumpmaster School, I have made thirty parachute jumps from everything from a balloon in England to a jet at Fort Bragg. I have written an article that was published in Army magazine, and I have studied philosophy.

I have experienced all these things because I was in the Army and because I was an Army brat. The Army is my life, it is such a part of what I was that what happened is the logical outcome of the life I lived.

I never knew what it is to fail, I never knew what it is to be too old or too tired to do anything. I lived a full life in the Army, and it has exacted the price. It is only just.

Obituary For Arielle Keyes-Oliver

This obituary is an example of how to honour a young woman who had recently joined the military.

Passed away tragically, at CFB Petawawa on Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 19 years of age.

Arielle is sadly missed by her loving parents, Diane and David her beloved sister Tressa cherished grandparents, Ken and Catherine Richardson of Cambridge, Doug and Eileen Oliver of Grey County, and her special friend Antoine Trabulsi. She will be forever remembered by her many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Arielle was born in Cambridge, graduated from KCI in Kitchener and was attending Carleton University in Ottawa. Among her many interests were music, horseback riding and kickboxing. Arielle was a Sea Cadet at #94 Warspite in Kitchener for five years and next month would have been her two year anniversary in the Army. She attained her Gunner’s Hat Badge this past summer. Arielle was involved in three regiments, the Highland Fusiliers of Cambridge, and the 11th and 30th Field Regiments of the Royal Canadian Artillery.

Friends are invited to share their memories of Arielle with her family during visitation at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo, on Thursday, October 30, from 2-4 and 7-9 pm and Friday, October 31 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. The funeral service will be held at Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly, 395 King Street North, Waterloo on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Parkview Cemetery, Waterloo.

Condolences for the family and donations to a Memorial Scholarship Fund in Arielle’s name at Carleton Unversity may be arranged by calling the funeral home at 519-745-8445 or or on-line

In living memory of Arielle, a donation will be made to the Trees for Learning Program by the funeral home.

Obituary For Bill Speakman

This obituary example shines light on years of service and sacrifice as a soldier.

As a rank-and-file professional soldier, Bill Speakman, who has died aged 90, won the Victoria Cross in the Korean war with a sustained display of indomitable personal bravery of a kind no writer of fiction would have dared to invent. He spent much of his later life trying with varied success to live down the resulting fame.

War broke out in divided Korea in June 1950, when the communist north invaded the western-backed south by crossing the 38th parallel of latitude which was the provisional border between them.

Korea, a Japanese colony since 1910, was divided in 1945 between the Soviet Union in the north and US forces in the south.

Protracted negotiations failed to reunify the two segments and the north made its bid to overrun the south. At first the massed northern troops carried all before them and all but expelled the smaller, ill-prepared southern army and its US reinforcements from the entire peninsula.

But the American General Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander-in-chief of UN forces in Korea in July and led a daring counterattack. A temporary boycott of the UN security council meant there could be no Soviet veto of the American proposal for UN intervention. British and Commonwealth units with other allied troops joined in. The US Marines made a bold amphibious landing at Incheon, near the southern capital of Seoul, and allied forces then advanced north to the Chinese border, whereupon the Chinese army entered the war and forced them back to the 38th parallel.

It was during one of many large-scale counterattacks by the Chinese during this to-and-fro phase that Private Speakman, a Black Watch soldier temporarily attached to the 1st battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, was acting as a runner for B company, positioned on a ridge known as Hill 217 at the beginning of November 1951.

The battalion came under fierce artillery fire in its exposed position. The Chinese then sent in 6,000 infantry troops, advancing in waves on B company. At dusk the company’s position looked hopeless, but Speakman, who was imposing and well-built at 6ft 6in tall, decided otherwise. Filling his pouches and all available pockets with the hand grenades he had been priming, he rose to his feet. Asked where he thought he was going, Speakman was reported as saying, in contemporary speech: “I’m going to shift some of them bloody Chinks.”

Standing in the dark, he pelted the attackers with grenade after grenade, aiming at their rifle flashes, pausing only to return to refill his pockets. Inspired by his actions, six men then joined him in a concerted drive to clear the ridge of the enemy.

It seemed only a bullet could stop the furious defender. Yet even that was insufficient: he was indeed shot – in a leg and again in the shoulder – but, directly ordered to seek medical help, he went back to the fight when the medics were not looking. His rage reached new heights when a medic treating a comrade was shot and killed. He and his friends were finally reduced to throwing stones, ration tins and even, the legend has it, beer bottles (their contents had been used to cool gun barrels) before a final charge cleared the ridge and the remnants of the company could withdraw.

The citation for the VC said he had imposed enormous losses on the enemy and saved the lives of many of his comrades as they withdrew. It was the first such award to be presented by the Queen, shortly after she came to the throne.

Bill was born in Altrincham, Cheshire (now Greater Manchester) to Hannah Speakman, an unmarried domestic servant he never knew his father and she never named him. About seven years later she married Herbert Houghton, a veteran of the first world war, who became his stepfather. Bill left Wellington Road secondary school in Timperley aged 14 and held various ordinary jobs before volunteering for the Scottish Black Watch regiment at the age of 17 near the end of the second world war, seeing service in Germany, Italy and Hong Kong. Returning to Germany in 1950, he volunteered for Korea and was detached to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

A month after he received his VC, Speakman returned to Korea at his own request, to get away from all the adulation. Demobilised in 1953, the year the Korean war ended in an armistice, he could not settle down to civilian life without qualifications and volunteered for the army again, to fight the communist insurrection in Malaya. In 1955 he served for a short period with the SAS, rejoining the King’s Own Scottish Borderers when they arrived in Malaya and rising to his final rank of sergeant.

He left the army after 22 years in 1968, the year following his arrest in Edinburgh for stealing £104 from a woman’s purse. He received an absolute discharge after repaying the stolen sum in full: his decoration probably saved him from prison.

Once again unable to settle down into civilian life, the “beer-bottle VC” tried various jobs, sold his medals to raise money, and was married and divorced three times, fathering seven children, all of whom survive him.

He emigrated to South Africa, called himself Speakman-Pitt for a while, returned to Britain and spent a year as a pensioner at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, before going back to South Africa for a second time. Eventually he returned to Altrincham before retiring permanently as a Chelsea pensioner in 2015.

Obituary For Joy Lofthouse

This is an obituary of a woman who lived an extraordinary life. She was one of 164 female pilots during the second world war. It’s a fascinating example of an obituary for a member of the military.

In 1943 Joy Lofthouse, a 20-year-old bank cashier, replied to an advertisement she had seen in the Aeroplane magazine. It was for women to train for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), and although the competition was intense her application was successful.

As a result she went on to become one of 164 female pilots during the second world war who were given the important job of ferrying military planes around the UK from one air base to another.

Lofthouse, who has died aged 94, showed great aptitude for flying. Her first solo flight was in a Miles Magister, an open, low-winged monoplane. After qualifying, her initial work focused on delivering Magisters and Tiger Moth biplanes to flying schools. Later she moved on to fighter planes, including Spitfires.

She was born Joyce Gough, always known as Joy, in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Her father was a professional footballer who later became a hairdresser, and her mother was a dressmaker. Educated at Cirencester grammar school, both Joy and her older sister, Yvonne, were dedicated to sport in general and to tennis in particular. Joy began working in the local Lloyds bank just as war broke out.

But she had greater ambitions than to be a cashier, and sought inspiration in the pages of the Aeroplane magazine, the journal whose then editor had proclaimed that “the menace is the woman who thinks she ought to be flying a high-speed bomber when she really has not the intelligence to scrub the floor of a hospital properly”.

When Joy applied to the ATA she had no idea that Yvonne had also put in an application, just before her. Both were successful and served together until the end of the war.

As a flying member of the female section of the ATA – which also had 1,153 men in its employ – Lofthouse was one of what the press liked to call the Attagirls, working on pay rates equal to those of the men. That there was a women’s section and that it attracted pilots from around the world was substantially due to the efforts, before and during the war, of their senior commander, Pauline Gower.

The pilots’ work expanded rapidly from the transport of medical supplies and personnel to ferrying fighters and bombers to bases around the country. For Lofthouse this meant a posting to Hamble, near Southampton, in 1944.

Alongside workaday aircraft she also flew more spectacular machines. There were Hawker Tempest Vs, North American Mustangs and Supermarine Spitfires, all 400mph fighters. She flew a total of 18 types of aircraft – relying on a map and the view out of the cockpit for navigation – but the Spitfire was her enduring favourite.

By 1945 she completed training for twin-engined planes, only to quit the ATA after the end of the war it was wound up that November.

In 1946 EC Cheeseman’s book, Brief Glory: The Story of ATA, was published, listing, on page 230, “Third Officer Gough, Joyce, Miss”. But jobs for women pilots were then practically nonexistent, and she had to turn to other things.

After the war she married Jiri Hartman, a Czech Spitfire pilot whom she had first encountered while working at Lloyds. The marriage ended in divorce in 1966.

Two years later, while training to become a teacher in Portsmouth, she met Charles Lofthouse, a former bomber pilot who had been held at Stalag Luft III prison camp in what is now Poland, where he had worked on preparations for the 1944 Great Escape.

They married in 1971, by which time he was a headteacher and she was teaching children with special needs.

It was only towards the end of the 20th century that the scale of the achievement of women such as Lofthouse began to be appreciated. Throughout her life she retained her links with her former female comrades in the ATA and attended many reunions.

In 1990 she met young women aspiring to be RAF pilots at Biggin Hill, and in 2008 she was a recipient of a commemorative badge for the Attagirls issued by the government. She was also a patron of the Fly2Help charity, which encourages young people to take up flying.

In 2015, at Goodwood in Sussex, she took to the air in a (dual-control) Spitfire for the first time in 70 years.

She and Charles retired to Cirencester. He died in 2002. She is survived by a son, Peter, and a daughter, Lyn, from her first marriage, and a grandson. Another son from that marriage, Michael, died in 2008.

Obituary For Harold Thomas Bushey Sr.

This example of an obituary for a soldier is uplifting and speaks to a life well-lived.

After serving during war, many veterans find themselves eager to return to civilian life and move on from their experiences as quickly as possible.

After he returned from World War II, the 98-year-old Mt. Lebanon resident built a life around helping other veterans and continuing his service.

Mr. Bushey, the longtime director of the Veterans Administration Regional Office in Pittsburgh, died Friday, surrounded by his family in hospice care.

“My father was such a positive man, he was making plans up till the end,” said his daughter, Kathleen Prentiss, 67, of Mt. Lebanon.

Born in Harlem, New York City, Mr. Bushey moved as a child with his family to the north shore of Long Island, where his father found work as a butcher. After graduating from high school, he went to work at a movie theater before being drafted into the Army in 1941.

As a young sergeant major, Mr. Bushey was stationed aboard the ships Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth as they transported thousands of troops to Europe for the war effort.

After the war, he contemplated whether to return as manager of the theater — where his job was waiting.

“He was the youngest manager of the theater and when he was drafted, they sent him money and saved his job,” Mrs. Prentiss said. “They hoped he would come back after the war.”

The decision was complicated by his new role as husband and father.

During leave in 1942, Mr. Bushey met Marylynn Basuino, whom he married in May 1943. The couple had been married for 57 years in 2000, when Mrs. Bushey died.

“He went to a USO dance and when he walked into the club, one of my mother’s sisters whistled at him,” Mrs. Prentiss said. “That’s how they met.”

Acting on the advice of a fellow soldier, Mr. Bushey applied for a federal job and was accepted by the VA office in Pittsburgh.

“He got the job in Pittsburgh and my mom cried like crazy,” when they decided to move away, Mrs. Prentiss said.

The Busheys bought a home in Dormont, where they raised four children, before moving to Mt. Lebanon in 1965.

In the meantime, Mr. Bushey enlisted in the Army Reserve and took advantage of the GI Bill to go to night school and earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a master’s degree in business administration. He also taught as an adjunct professor at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Mr. Bushey served in the reserves until 1981 and twice was awarded the Legion of Merit for meritorious conduct — first during WWII and again after his retirement from the reserves.

At the VA, Mr. was personnel manager before being promoted to director in 1971 — a post he held until his retirement in 1997.

In that role, Mr. Bushey was recognized with many awards — his daughter said they filled two rooms in his home — but his proudest moments were probably off the radar, said friend and colleague Jerry Serrino of North Strabane.

“I was a personnel trainee at the VA Medical Center when we met,” said Mr. Serrino, who knew Mr. Bushey for 47 years — 28 of them spent working with him. “I wrote a paper on Affirmative Action and he was a pioneer in that effort within the federal government. He was doing it before there was a hard push to do it.”

During the Kennedy administration, Mr. Bushey was sent to Southern states to help them implement John F. Kennedy’s 1961 executive order requiring government contractors to hire people “without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.”

“My father was sent to make sure [minorities] were being treated fairly,” Mrs. Prentiss said. “And he was warned of the danger.”

Mr. Bushey also worked locally to ensure fair hiring practices within his own office, sometimes bending the rules to hire qualified African-Americans.

“When we would have a vacancy he was always looking to see if we could get a minority,” Mr. Serrino said. “Even when there weren’t vacancies, he would circumvent the system to fit them into jobs. Because he did these things, he developed a reputation in the community, and people saw that it wasn’t just lip service.”

He also worked with leaders in the local black community to help applicants navigate the often cumbersome application process for a federal job, and kept an off-the-books list of how many minorities were hired by various departments in his office.

“It really concerned him, that everybody should have equal opportunity,” Mr. Serrino said. “He was one of the best people I’ve ever known.”

His secret to a long and happy life was simple, Mrs. Prentiss said.

“Martinis and positive thinking,” she said.

Along with his daughter, Mr. Bushey is survived by a son, Tom Bushey, of Imperial eight grandchildren 11 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by a daughter Claudia Bushey King and a son, Michael Damian Bushey.

Watch the video: Dog Miraculously Emerges From Rubble of Home Leveled by Tornado (July 2021).