Last Monday we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Army’s War Dog Program, also known as “K9 Corps.”
National K9 Veterans Day was established as a day to honor and commemorate the service and sacrifices of American military and working dogs throughout history.
Recently there were approximately 2,500 “war dogs” operating in service to the U.S. military, about 700 of which were deployed overseas with U.S. troops. Of course, many more war dogs have “graduated” to dog heaven through the decades.
Back in the “Olden Days” …
A little history is in order here. More than three-quarters of a century ago, a program called Dogs for Defense was launched, which along with the American Kennel Club and some breeders trained dogs for military use. The canines served as sentries and message carriers, and also performed other tasks.
This first group of dogs was used in North Africa in November 1942. As World War II progressed, the program outgrew the Dogs for Defense program. Taking over the training of the dogs was the Remount Branch, Service Installations Division.
Dogs have continued to be a vital part of U.S. military service ever since, both here in the U.S. and abroad.
Who Are the Top Dogs in U.S. Military History?
Thousands of dogs have served U.S. military men and women through the years. Among them are:
Smoky, a female Yorkshire Terrier rescued from a foxhole by Corporal Bill Wynne during World War II. The dog helped string communication lines between military outposts in the Pacific theater.
Gander, a large Newfoundland who was “promoted” to sergeant of a Royal Canadian rifle team and who saved his unit by playing fetch with a Japanese hand grenade during World War II.
Lex, a German Shepherd who served alongside owner Corporal Dustin Lee until the corporal’s death in Iraq in 2007.
Sergeant Stubby, who distinguished himself with the uncanny ability to detect incoming artillery, mustard gas and enemy soldiers in World War I. He was attached to the Army’s 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, traveling with soldiers to France.
Vice President Mike Pence Honors Military Dogs.
On Monday, the United States Secret Service posted images of VP Pence thanking members of the Secret Service Canine Unit outside the White House.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media didn’t report this anywhere.
It’s Not Just Lip Service for 4Patriots.
I can’t express how important our veterans and active service members are to 4Patriots. Not a day goes by when we don’t think about them and feel so much gratitude for everything they do to keep us safe.
We at 4Patriots also salute our military heroes on both ends of the leash. We join in honoring the dogs that have added so much to the U.S. Armed Forces through the decades, as well as the brave men and women who have faithfully served their country and been willing to lay down their lives for the freedoms we are so fortunate to possess.
That’s why 4Patriots donates a portion of our proceeds to a variety of U.S. military groups, including the Fisher House Foundation, Operation Homefront, RIP Medical Debt, and more.
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