Four-legged Veteran Heroes
You probably already know that recognizing, honoring and celebrating the service and sacrifice of our military men and women is reserved for November 11th each year. This date was initially observed to recognize the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day, and later became Veteran's Day to honor all Veterans, living and dead, in 1954.
Did you also know that we have a National K9 Veterans' Day??
This date was chosen by Joe White, a Vietnam Veteran, dog handler and trainer, because on this day, March 13, 1942, the Army began officially training dogs for war through the War Dog Program, also known as the K9 Corps. It was also the first time that dogs were officially a part of the U.S. Armed Forces, although they had been utilized extensively, during WWI, mainly for delivering messages between troops. People even donated their pet dogs for service. In recognition of the the skill, trainability and sheer bravery that these dogs offered, the K9 Corps was established to train them for guarding, patrolling, sniffing and many other tasks. Military working dogs (MWD's) were official and working side-by-side with their human soldiers.
The human-animal bond is strong, even among pets that aren't sacrificing their lives for our country. MWD's are not only utilized for their skills, to their human counterparts they are partners, comrades and best friends. Remember these heroes today by visiting a military dog war memorial, donating to an organization that supports military dogs or veterans, or thanking one you know in person with a treat or special story.