Militaryopinion

Military Dogs- Not Just a Piece of Equipment (videos)

The United States Military – and in particular the Marine Corps –  has a saying: “No man left behind.”  And they mean it.  But the 4-legged military members: Military working Dogs and Contract Working Dogs, are often left behind. They are war veterans who save a minimum of 150-200 American lives per animal. They are not just another piece of equipment to be left behind in a war zone.

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Olivia, a Military Working dog, sleeps next to her handler – she is not just another piece of “equipment”

 

Veterans, not equipment

Military dogs, also known as “War Dogs,” visited Capitol Hill in 2012, in an effort to bring their service to light so that Congress would pass a bill to insist that these veterans be brought back when it’s time to retire. In 2012, the bill was passed that used the word “may” be allowed to be returned to America, but no wording of “shall” was contained in the bill.

 “We’re suggesting today that an easy solution, so very easy, is just to mandate that the dogs are returned to U.S. soil before they’re retired. And then, of course, these wonderful groups that we work with can work with the military to make sure the dogs are reunited.” Robin Ganzert, President, American Humane Association

Some of the MWD and CWD animals in war zones end up in shelters in foreign lands, a handfull of others are lucky enough to go home to their former handlers. But many are left behind as used equipment, forgotten, stripped of their purpose.

In Vietnam, the service of the dogs was totally ignored, as most were put down after the war instead of being returned home.

Military working Dog Hexa gets a nap after her bath. Photo from Kevin Hanrahan

 

Most of the dogs have PTSD themselves. Years of searching for IEDs and drugs in the midst of explosions causes them to react similarly to their human partners. Yet it is a fact that when these champions return home, they become healers to the very men who worked with them.

These intelligent creatures should be returned to the US for retirement. They have earned their transport, they have earned their lives.  The following videos are indicative of the happiness at the reuniting of MWD and CWD dogs to their original handlers.

They trust their handlers to protect them, but that trust often goes unrewarded.

“The power of the human-animal bond is mysterious and inspirational. What I know is that both two and four-legged veterans deserve the chance to retire together with dignity, and that the four-legged veterans deserve more than they get today.” Robin Ganzert

The following videos are examples of the joy that is a reuniting of handlers and dogs. Can we not expend the few feet of space required to put these dogs on a transport and let them come home along with our men?

 

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee

I'm a published author of 4 books, numerous short stories, blogs and editorials. I've been working at Uncle Sam's since 2013. I have two degrees in Criminal Justice and worked for over 31 years at a local police department. I have been a patriotic American since I was a child.

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