Dogs of War - Page 2Published December 15, 2008
What kinds of dogs serve with the soldiers?
In Vietnam, where at least 4,900 dogs were deployed, authorities estimate that canine soldiers saved at least 10,000 men from booby traps, landmines and enemy tunnels. Even though the dogs cannot write books about their heroism, their handlers and fellow soldiers are sharing stories about their canine comrades.
The United States War Dogs Association and National War Dogs Memorial Inc. are two organizations that promote the contributions of military dogs. These current and former K-9 dog handlers want a commemorative K-9 dog stamp and a national military dog memorial in Washington, D.C.
In 2006 the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation dedicated a dog and handler statue. Ron Aiello of Burlington, N.J., is president of the U.S. War Dogs Association and was one of the first K-9 teams in Vietnam. He recalls, "we never left the dog. We slept together, ate together, we even went to bathroom together. We were a team and never separated."
Remembering those experiences, Aiello has been sending care packages to U.S. soldiers and their dogs in Afghanistan and Iraq for the past six years. His K-9 team packages include items for dogs such as K-9 cooling vests, K-9 cooling bandanas and even K-9 sun blocks, along with items for the soldiers.
If you want to help these canine soldiers go to the website: uswardogs.org.