What could be better ways to celebrate this year’s holiday season with? Your family, friends, and don’t forget our special four-legged friend, the ‘other forgotten soldier’ who have to go through blood, bravery, and sacrifice in order to save a soldier’s life, they are called military working dogs. These dogs are our first animal ever to defend our country and soldiers in times of war.
Throughout history, trained-dogs were essential in aiding warfare for various tasks from mid 7th-century B.C. to present day. The Greeks and Romans used large dogs often mastiff or molosser dogs with armored or spike collars to attack their enemies. During the Belgian War of 1914, dogs were used to help carry weapons such as Maxim guns on wheeled carriages and assisted in carrying the wounded during the war. Sending messages from one handler to another were also implemented with these dogs to help with communication. Dogs were often used as mascots in the military to uplift morale, especially during World War 1. In Vietnam, over 400 dogs were used as sentry or guarding dogs to protect areas of weapons from the U.S. Military, which was a large success.
Most importantly these dogs are trained to smell and hear danger from coming. With their keen sense of smell and hearing, these dogs can detect booby traps and concealed enemies from many yards away. In modern days, Police dogs often use K-9 ,German Shepherds for used in the military. In 2011, approximately 600 were used during the Iraq, Afghanistan wars.In addition in proving how they are effective in the Military, Law Enforcement use police dogs to detect drugs and explosives. They aim in most useful tool to help police men and women to search for criminals when in hiding.
After these dogs are retired from their duties, some go into adoption to a new home or to a new handler. In good news this recent month, President Obama have signed a bill to have enough funds to send home these dogs safely to their handlers or to an available adopter after they are retired in Afghanistan.
In no doubt these dogs are there to protect men and women from danger when fighting overseas. Although they should be given medals in their efforts of sacrificing their lives just as soldiers, they are and should be recognized as brave, courageous heroes who are not just called dogs.
Thank and gift this year holiday season an adoption or donation to a retired military working dog by visiting this site: www.save-a-vet.org
Pictures of Military Working Dogs:
- Marines carry a wounded German shepherd believed to be Caesar to the hospital tent on Bougainville.(photo by U.S. Marine Corps official)
- Lucca, military working dog, recovering next to U.S. soldier. (photo on Facebook)
- A paratrooper, assigned to 37th Scout Dog Platoon, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, stands with his military working dog after receiving his purple heart. (photo on Facebook)
- Soldier from 10th special forces group , jumps with dog from Ch-7 Chinook helicopter. Water training from Gulf of Mexico ( photo by U.S. Army and Air Force tech. Sgt. Manuel Martinez)
- Adam Miller, Air Forch tech., carries his dog, Tina M111, in an intensive training session held in 114 degrees heat. ( photo on Facebook)
- Military working dog with U.S. soldiers. ( photo on Facebook)
- Xxenos , a search dog, rests during his combat deployment in Afghanistan. Xxenos passed away this year at age of 10. He had been deployed three times. (photo on Facebook)
- Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, rest next to Blue , a military working dog, after cleaning compounds with Afghan National Army soldiers, during operation Tageer Shamal, Jan. 4th, 2012. (U.S. army photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder)
- Spc. Morgan Chami shakes paw of Perro, a military working dog, after her reenlistment ceremony on July 20, 2012, at camp Nathan Smith Afghanistan. (U.S. army photo by Spc. Matt Kuzara)