Tomorrow (Saturday, May 18) is Armed Forces Day, which honors Americans serving in the five branches of our military: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. In addition to the brave men and women who defend our country and assist others around the globe, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to another kind of hero—the U.S. military working dog, or MWD.
According to the Department of Defense, in early 2012 there were approximately 2,700 MWDs serving worldwide, keeping us safe and performing important tasks that can be difficult, if not impossible, for people. Some experts estimate that the average military dog saves 150 soldier lives during his or her career.
Thanks in part to the efforts of animal lovers like you, late last year Congress took action in the National Defense Authorization Act to protect these canine heroes. Their post-service adoption processes are being streamlined and the Department of Defense is working on authorizing a veterinary care program at no expense to taxpayers. And while it might not mean much to the dogs themselves, it means a lot to us that all retiring military dogs will receive letters of commendation for their service.
We thank the Defense Department and the U.S. Air Force, which administers the Military Working Dog Program from its Lackland base in San Antonio, Texas, for recognizing that our government’s commitment to these amazing animals’ well-being must extend beyond their period of military service.
Show your appreciation for the selfless service of our canine heroes by sharing this article on Twitter with the hashtag #MilitaryDogs.