By CNN Sr. National Security Producer Charley Keyes
It’s a long way from the battlefields of Iraq to the quiet and neatly manicured lawns of the Pentagon. But Homer the donkey, a mascot to U.S. military personnel, was taking it easy in the central courtyard of the Pentagon Thursday, calmly munching on the grass.
One of the people who remember him from Camp Tagaddum in Iraq is Marine Staff Sergeant Matthew Shelato. He explains that back in 2008 the donkey was abandoned and bleeding, after getting tangled in razor wire. The U.S. military patched him up. And it turned out that taking care of Homer was a good way for his new friends to take a break from the war. “We helped him and he helped us,” says Shelato.
Homer is now a mascot for the private organization Wounded Warriors Family Support that helps families of those wounded or killed in combat.