Blog

Ed’s Corner: Honor All Those Who Serve Us on Memorial Day, Including Canines

Friday, May 25, 2012 - 12:30pm

This Memorial Day, as we remember all the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedoms, let’s not forget the sacrifices of the military dogs who have served alongside them.

Much of the world cheered when 80 members of an American commando team captured and killed Osama bin Laden a little more than a year ago. One of these American heroes was Cairo, the dog who played an integral part in Bin Laden’s capture. Because so much of that mission remains top secret, we haven’t been able to see a picture of Cairo, but we know that he was one of the team members responsible for closing off the perimeter of the home where Bin Laden was hiding.

Not all dogs have had the opportunity to help capture the world’s most wanted fugitive as Cairo did, but every military dog is saving lives through detecting explosives, conducting searches and patrols, and working on specialized missions. Beyond that, though, these dogs are also extremely loyal to their handlers and are willing to do anything to protect them. For example, CNN reported the heartbreaking story of Cpl. Dustin Lee, who was badly injured in an insurgent attack while he was on patrol in Iraq. His canine partner, Lex, also suffered shrapnel injuries, but pushed himself through his pain to lie over his human partner in an attempt to protect him. Tragically, Cpl. Lee did not survive his injuries, but his dog Lex did. Lex was adopted by Cpl. Lee’s family and was then recognized by Members of Congress for his exceptional service.

Classified as Equipment
Military dogs have died, been maimed and suffered to save our military service members, yet they are currently defined as mere “equipment” under federal law. Defining military dogs as equipment is shameful. It trivializes all that dogs do, but even more important, it makes it more difficult to return retired dogs to the United States for adoption. Dogs are sometimes stuck in far away locales while those wanting to adopt them must pay large fees to transport them. Old equipment may be left behind, but retired military dogs never should be.

Please Take Action for Military Dogs
The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), reclassifies military dogs as “canine members of the armed forces” instead of equipment. The bill also streamlines the adoption process for retired military dogs and directs the military to set up a program for retired dogs’ veterinary care, at no cost to the taxpayer. It also directs the Secretary of Defense to create a decoration or other recognition for military dogs that are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to their country.

We need your help to build Senate support for the bill. For the sake of our canine heroes, please contact your U.S. senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 2134, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Like their human counterparts, our military dogs deserve a happy retirement from service.

0 Comments
Add new comment

Comments

Comments

Barbara Russell

Not just today but everyday, support our troops 2&4 legged. They fight for our freedoms, and tossed aside, because of politics.

Scott A Potts

These K-9 Soldiers give there heart and soul unconditionally for this Country.They love there handler unconditionally even if the handler miss treat's them.They have saved so many lives while at war.They are not Military Equipment they are a living thing that should be treated as the Heroes they are.So give them the same treatment that the human Soldiers get when they return home.And if there handler can't take them home and keep them put them up for adoption I'm sure there a lot of people that would be proud to have a Hero in there family.Sure you'd have to make sure that there new owners could handle the dog.I know I'd be vary proud to have a K-9 Hero in my family and I could love and handle one.Once again they are not Military equipment they are a living thing with a heart and feelings that need a for ever home.Before you give up on them and start putting them to sleep you could try Dogtown with Best friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anne Deffebach

Anything "breathing" should not be considered equipment. I am glad this was brought to my attention.

Scott A Potts

These K-9 Soldiers give there heart and soul unconditionally for this Country.They love there handler unconditionally even if the handler miss treat's them.They have saved so many lives while at war.They are not Military Equipment they are a living thing that should be treated as the Heroes they are.So give them the same treatment that the human Soldiers get when they return home.And if there handler can't take them home and keep them put them up for adoption I'm sure there a lot of people that would be proud to have a Hero in there family.Sure you'd have to make sure that there new owners could handle the dog.I know I'd be vary proud to have a K-9 Hero in my family and I could love and handle one.Once again they are not Military equipment they are a living thing with a heart and feelings that need a for ever home.Before you give up on them and start putting them to sleep you could try Dogtown with Best friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SHIRLEY MEZORI

These heroes deserve recognition also for their part in the war. It is important they have our support also when the war is over and be available for adoption be it with their handlers or another loving person who will honor them as they so richly deserve.

Linda Weiland

These dogs are loyal and fearless. They should be treated with the same respect as the men and women in our armed forces. Bring them HOME.

Jacky Upton

The War Dogs are NOT equipment, they have hearts, not engines or motors, and should be classified as Military Personnel. When their service is finished they deserve to be returned to America and cared for with love. They put their life on the line like all soldiers do, and deserve to be treated with respect and brought home, not left for the enemy to abuse.

Christina

Please bring them home

Mondia Preston

Totally.

Cathie De Silva

Don't forget that we use dogs for the blind, for the deaf, they can even detect when human's are ill... for example about to suffer a fit. They give us unconditional love, very often even when they have been badly treated. It is a travesty that when it suits us we can just forget all that and abandon them.

Pages