Sgt. Leonard Foulk

Sgt. Foulk went ashore on Attu in May, 1943, and proceeded to Holtz Bay and the enemy encampment. He and his unit spent the next 2 or 3 days positioning themselves around the ridge. During that time, while kneeling in a foxhole looking through binoculars locating Japanese targets for the machine gunner and the B.A.R. man, he was struck by a bullet that shattered the binocs and both of his eyes. The Battle of Attu ended approximately 24 hours later. Leonard was a young man of only 26 years of age at the time.

Twelve days later he arrived at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, CA. where he was treated for his injuries. Leonard had lost his sight in both eyes. In October 1943 Leonard graduated from a new program designed to provide mobility dogs for servicemen blinded in WWII. Although he was in the third class ever held by this organization, he was the FIRST veteran to receive a guide dog from the newly founded Guide Dogs for the Blind.  Click HERE to visit the Guide Dogs for the Blind web site. Click on the image below for more about Sgt. Foulk and his dog Blondie, who had been saved from the pound to be not only Leonard's constant companion, but his eyes as well..

Leonard was presented with a Bronze Star medal at the Presidio, San Francisco, in December of 1944.

Leonard wrote a small book about his experiences (mostly about regaining his independence in mobility). The book is titled "Still My World."

Leonard died in 1978.


Story submitted by his niece, Bonnie Cursey.

For information about Guide Dogs for the Blind, contact Joanne Ritter.

 

Last Updated: 04 January 2013 12:02

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Originally published 5 April 2001