Mama Lucca; Purple Heart hero

| December 2, 2014


Andy11M and John Robert Mallernee sent us links to the story of Momma Lucca;

“In our first week in our first big mission … Lucca went up and indicated there was an explosive there and that was the first time she saved my life,” Willingham said. “It was a really validating moment from all the hard work and training we put in together, to the moment she actually found an IED on an operation, so it was a great, great day.”

While active in the Marine Corps, Lucca was identified as a piece of equipment would be, with the ID designation K458. But to the troops she protected, she was known as “Mama Lucca.”

“She is a Marine,” Willingham said. “She’s treated just like a Marine. When she got injured, she was medevac’d just like a Marine. They get top notch veterinary treatment — their medical care, their health care, their dental care — it’s top notch. We treat these dogs outstanding, their part of our team, and Lucca probably knows more about me than anybody else, except my wife.”

Category: Marine Corps

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
crewchief guy

ah, the age old struggle. wife vs. dog


No competition. And my wife knows it.

A boy and his dog is THE classic American love story.

Pinto Nag

Yeah, the dog will lay at your feet, look at you adoringly, and do whatever you tell it to do. And they actually LIKE having your clothes all over the floor.

B Woodman

Yeah, but the dog won’t clean your laundry or cook your dinner.


Here’s to Mama Lucca…well done Marine! Thank you for the lives you’ve saved.


I had a Lab that washed out of the field trial/hunt test program. She ended up in the South getting trained for bomb sniffing. Don’t know if she ever deployed.
Her name was Diamond.



I got Ringo B083 from Travis AFB after he was wounded on his 3rd tour of Iraq. He was 10 years old when I got him and I gave him the best life I could for 5 more years. What a wonderful companion he was, miss him to this day.


I love Shepherds. Smartest smartass dogs on Earth.

Mama Luca is my kind of poochie. BZ, Big Girl.