Remember Military Service Dogs Too
November 11th is the annual Veteran's day observance. Though people do try to remember the humans who have served, they often forget about the four legged soldiers.
Dogs have served man in many conflicts over recorded history. Here in the United States, dogs have had a role in every major conflict. During WW I, the actions of a few dogs were noted by the press and the public recognized their heroism and ability to help protect troops in battle. During WW II, the Army carved out an official role for dogs starting with reconnaissance duty.
Since then, the US armed forces and police have greatly expanded the roles of dogs in both war and everyday affairs. Military dogs, often German shepherds and Labradors, find work sniffing for explosives, gases and weapons as well as sentry and recon duty.
Today there are more than 2,500 military combat dogs in service. A more detailed history can be found at the excellent San Antonio Magazine article from 2013, Canines in Combat: Military Working Dogs. What is really interesting is that so many of these dogs come to the US military from Europe and bloodlines dating back many generations.
So please take a moment today to remember not just the human soldiers who have served their countries, but also the military dogs, many who have also paid the ultimate sacrifice.