K9 Veterans Day: Honoring American Service Dogs
Throughout the history of our country thousands of dogs have served with honor, dignity and valor.
These dogs have served at many jobs in all of our wars, having been employed by the United States Military from World War I to present conflicts.⠀
It was on March 13th 1942 that the U.S. Army began training for its new War Dog Program, also known as the “K-9 Corps,” and it marked the first time that dogs were officially a part of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Joseph J. White, a retired Military Working Dog handler and founder of “K9 Veterans Day” pioneered a nation-wide effort to get the entire country to recognize March 13th as K9 Veterans Day. Joe passed away in 2009 but his wife Sally continues the effort to make K9 Veterans Day a holiday in all 50 states and at least 500 cities and towns.
K9 Veterans Day recognizes brave dogs serving in a number of capacities – Military dogs, Customs dogs, Search and Rescue dogs, Border Patrol dogs, Police dogs, Secret Service dogs, Airport Security dogs, FBI dogs and more.
“Dedicated to all U.S. Military Working Dog Handlers and their beloved dogs who defend America from harm, defeat the enemy, and save lives.” ⠀
⠀ — The Military Working Dog Teams National Monument, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas⠀⠀
K9 veterans have also been honored in other ways, the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was unveiled October 28th 2013 in San Antonio, Texas on the Lackland Air Force Base. The monument was founded by John C. Burnam who is a published author, a Vietnam Veteran Infantryman and German Shepherd Scout Dog Handler (1966-1968). The monument represents all wars since World War II and all five U.S. Armed Services (Army, Marines, Navy Air Force, and Coast Guard).
Members of the public (and their dogs) who wish to visit the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument can go see the monument by requesting a base pass at the Lackland Air Force Base visitor control centers.
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