FORT CALHOUN, Neb. - Smoke, a donkey, is now at his new home in an eastern Nebraska pasture after a more than 6,000-mile journey.

Smoke became a friend and mascot to a group of Marines serving in Iraq's Anbar Province nearly three years ago. The chest-high donkey, named for his grayish color, became such a part of the unit that he received his own care-packages and cards. Retired Marine Col. John Folsom said that Smoke "was a battle buddy, and you don't leave your battle buddy behind."

So the Marines worked with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International to bring the donkey to the United States.

Smoke arrived yesterday at Miracle Hills Ranch, where he will live out the rest of his life as a therapy animal.