UNIONTOWN, PA (July 1) --- Snoopy, the legendary flying ace who fought the Red Baron in the clear blue skies over Germany during World War I, has been recalled to serve in Iraq along with about 5,600 other civilians who have either retired or were discharged after previous service. His 12-month stint begins on July 14.
Alice Swallow, a senior administrator for the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, where Snoopy has been living since the death in 2000 of longtime companion Charles Schultz, confirmed that Snoopy's carefully preserved scarf and goggles are "already packed and ready to go."
Staffers expressed some concern about Snoopy taking on such a grueling assignment so late in his career and in such an inhospitable climate. "The last aircraft he piloted was a single seater doghouse," noted nurse Peggy Waters, "so the thought of Snoopy at the controls of an A-10 Thunderbolt scares me to death."
For the past several years, in fact, the former Head Beagle has been residing in the Assisted Living section of the farm. "He isn't what he once was," lamented Waters. "He tries to lie on the doghouse roof but he keeps falling off. That's how Woodstock was killed," she recalled, referring to the tragic incident in 2002 in which Snoopy rolled off the roof and landed directly on the unsuspecting bird. "And he has a hard time keeping the food bowl in his mouth when he walks to the dining area, since what few teeth he has left aren't strong enough to hold it."
The public is invited to a big "Good Luck Snoopy" party to be held at the farm this Fourth of July Sunday starting at 2PM. Many of the plucky pup's old friends are expected to attend including good ol' Charlie Brown (who will be missing his regular turn in the starting rotation of the minor league Johnstown Johnnies) and his wife Patty, Dr. Linus van Pelt, vice-president of Burlington Industries Sheets, Pillowcase & Blankets division and Maestro Schroeder who will play a special piano piece written especially for the occasion. Also, Snoopy's brother Spike will be arriving from California where he has been performing his one man tribute to Leon Redbone at the Needles Comfort Inn every weekend since last Labor Day.
Snoopy himself was unavailable to be interviewed for this story but released a statement saying in part, "While it is true that I am only a funny looking dog with a big black nose, I love my country and am willing to do whatever President Wilson asks of me."