Friday, May 27, 2016

Honoring our American Heroes For Their Sacrifices

On this Memorial Day weekend, we send our sincere gratitude to all those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation. Their unselfish acts have allowed us to continue to enjoy the freedoms that our country was founded upon. However, it is not only the heroic men and women of our military that has sacrificed, but also their canine counterparts who performed their duties with loyalty and honor.

Here are a few facts about these  American canine heroes you might find of interest:
  • The United States military has approximately 2500 dogs in active service today with about 700 being deployed overseas.
  • They undergo extensive training in tracking, attack maneuvers and bomb, weapons and drug detection. Only approximately half the dogs make it through training and the trained K-9s are extremely valuable (likely worth over $100,000). However, their real value is in the lives they save. With  98% accuracy in their detection skills, the peace of mind they provide to the troops is priceless.
  • Dogs in service aren’t all German Shepherds. Highly trainable Labrador Retrievers and Belgian Malinois are often used.
  • The dogs mourn the loss of their handler and their handlers mourn the loss of them. They have a special bond; many dogs will act depressed and will often reject a new handler during this mourning period. For those military pups lost in combat, the squad will turn their feeding dishes upside down, hang up their leashes, and leave the kennel door open to symbolize their loss. The poem Guardians of the Night will also be read to honor them for their sacrifice.

 Military Working Dog Teams National Monument