Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11th, and is traditionally a day to remember veterans, living and deceased. While it is incredibly important to show these men and women our appreciation, we often forget other important military veterans, the 4-legged ones.
Military Working Dogs (MWDs) have fought alongside US soldiers since the birth of the United States but weren’t given proper recognition until World War II. These dogs are trained not only to attack enemies but can also track people, sniff out explosives, jump out of helicopters with Navy SEALs, and even assist with search and rescue efforts. There are around 1,600 of these highly trained K-9s and they are used by every branch of the military. The US military values these dogs so much that MWDs are always considered to be a rank above their handlers to prevent mistreatment, and the brave pups have even been awarded the animal equivalent of a Medal of Honor (The PDSA Dickin Medal for Valour, has been awarded to 36 dogs since 1943).
This Veterans Day and every day after, remember to not only honor our human veterans, but also our K-9 veterans. Observe a moment of silence for all of those living or dead, 2-legged or 4. Donate to credible charities that help veterans, or even to charities that help reunite military dogs with their military handlers. Give thanks that people and animals are willing to give their life for yours.
Fun facts about Military Working Dogs:
– MWDs and their handlers are trained right here in the Lonestar State. They train at Lackland Airforce Base located in San Antonio
– The U.S Postal Service recognized military dogs with a stamp set in 2019
– 85% of military dogs come from special breeders in Germany and the Netherlands. Only 15% are US born
– Every new potential military puppy goes to a qualified foster family for 5 months before training
Do you want to celebrate Veterans Day by supporting a non-profit that benefits veterans and other members of the military? Click here to find an extensive list!
Going out of town this Veterans Day? Click here to book daily walks or visits!