Sunday, May 24, 2009

WAR DOGS OF THE UNITED STATES- A Memorial Day Remembrance

Please take the time to remember our dogs of war. They gave so much for so little in return.

In all previous wars we brought home our highly trained military dogs to retire with their handler or to continue to serve EXCEPT for Vietnam. When our military was ordered out of Nam our dogs were tied to camp poles and left to watch the soldiers they loved and protected walk away and not look back. Those dogs were considered to be excess baggage.

What happened to those dogs? Most were starved to death, used for target practice or skinned alive and eaten by the Viet Cong who considered them to be a delicacy. Rumor has it that those who weren't tied, or confined, ran behind planes, waited patiently beneath helicopters for their orders, and then, when they were completely exhausted, went back to their last camp and held vigil, patiently, for their handler to come back. (If you would like to learn more, click on the War Dog graphic. It will take you to a very sobering site.)

Out of 3,000 war dogs, about 200 came home.

This Memorial Day let us also remember fallen soldiers who lived, and died, for our country and for the soldier at the other end of the leash.
Dogs do not have the option of enlisting in the military. Yet, after they are chosen and trained, they stand next to their handler willing to give his life for him. When a war dog locates a bomb, or a large cache of weapons and explosives, or even deters an attack we do not hear about it. It isn’t covered on the news, you won’t see it in the newspapers, and chances are we will never know about it. However we, the handlers, know. The Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Seamen who just had their lives saved know. The war dogs also know, and usually receive a special meal at the end of the day.
This blog entry is dedicated to these dog teams, but today I want to say an extra prayer and remember not just those dog teams that have given their lives but all dog teams worldwide who continue to be on the front lines. God bless them all.
Please. if you have the time, visit the United States War Dogs K-9 Wall of Honor. You are here because you love dogs. You will leave these pages deeply affected.

A Working Dog

And he said, Behold man, created in my image. Therefore adore him
You shall protect him in the wilderness, shepherd his flocks,
watch over his children, accompany him wherever he may go;
even unto civilization.

You shall be his companion, his ally, his slave. To do these things,
God said, I endow you with these instincts uncommon
to other beasts: faithfulness, devotion, and understanding
surpassing those of man himself.

Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.
Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to faults of man. Lest it
impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words.

Let no fault of language cleave an accord beyond that of man with
any other beast; or even man with man. Speak to your master only
with your mind and through your honest eyes.

Walk by his side: sleep in his doorway: forage for him, ward
off his enemies, carry his burdens, share his afflictions;
love him and comfort him.

And in return for this, man will fulfill your needs and wants-
which shall be only food, shelter and affection.

So be silent, and be a friend to man. Guide him through the perils
along the way to the land that I have promised him.

This shall be your destiny and your immortality.
So spoke the Lord. And the dog heard and was content.

God bless America
God bless our troops


vickie said...

Hi Mimi, I love this blog. Your dogs are beautiful. Great tribute to War Dogs. Thank you!

Candy said...

Never was aware of the extent of service that 'man's best friend' was given. Thanks for the coverage.

I'll be sharing a military story, so come back by tomorrow.

Remembering to honor,

Sarah Mae said...

Thank you for sharing this - I had NO idea! Wow! Quite sobering indeed.

White Linen ~ Lavender Field said...

Can't forget the four-leg heros and loyal friends. Thank you for bringing this to memory! Awesome.


MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

WHat wonderous things we have to ponder as humans in this life. Never leave a partner behind is a creed adopted by the firefighter in this nation...Viet Nam was a cruel misdeed. Today I wear on my wrist the ID bracelet of my uncle who died in Viet Nam in 1954, the year I was born. War is like a cancer that touches all of us in many different and unexpected ways. Thank you for honoring the memory of those who were forgotten...I am sure those eyes have burned a brand of pain into the souls of the men who walked away.
Much love this somber day of remembrance from the cozy cottage...

caboval said...

What a great tribute to our dogs who served!!! Thanks for visiting our blog! Hugs Joey and Kealani the Boo Bears

Ransom said...

What a touching post...

laurie said...

what a *wonderful* post. i never thought about military dogs before! thank you for this. and wonderful pictures, too.

Kimba said...

Thanks for the opportunity to know a little about the military dogs.