Sunday, May 26, 2013

Military Dog Memorials

Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, Long Island, New York
Although dogs stood beside soldiers long before the US Army launched its first official K-9 corps, March 19, 1942, war dog memorials aren't easy to find.  I was surprised to track down only a handful of sites that honor dogs who have faithfully served to protect the men and women in our nations armed forces. If you know of others, let me know and I'll add them to the post.

Erected in 1943
South Lyon, Michigan
Veterinarian Steve Eldow and his family established  Happy Hunting Grounds Pet Cemetery in 1936, and erected the War Dog tribute ten years later. Beneath the stone rests Sparks, who received seven citations while serving with the Marines in Guadalcanal in 1943.

Dedicated August 15, 2004
Marine War Dog Memorial 
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Knoxville, TN
The memorial honors 25 marine war dogs that gave their lives liberating Guam in 1944. The Doberman that sits atop the stone is a replica of the dog at the War Dog Memorial and Cemetery at the US Naval Station in Guam.

Dedicated November 11, 2008
Alabama War Dogs Memorial
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Mobile, AL
Note the four paw prints next to the boot prints.

Dedicated May 12, 2009
Moberly War Dog Memorial
Moberly, MO
The granite memorial to war dogs and handlers
sits in the city park.

Dedicated May 18, 2009
Vietnam K-9 and Dog Handler Memorial
Flemington, N.J.

Dedicated November 11, 2008
Fort Benton War Dogs Memorial
Fort Benton, Montana
Inscribed on back:  In memory of the over 4000 US military working dogs that served in the Vietnam war. They served with all branches of the US armed forces in South Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.  Combating the unconventional guerrilla warfare fought by the communist aggressors, with over 500 dogs being listed as killed in action, they were responsible for saving an estimated 10,000 American lives, never hesitating to give their own.  When the war was over the dogs were left to their fate in southeast Asia.  They were our heroes, our best friends and companion and we will never forget them.

Traditionally, US military dogs were returned home after wars, either to their former owners or to new adopted ones.  At the end of the Vietnam War, when the US left, military dogs were designated as "expendable equipment" and were either euthanized or tuned over to the allied army. Vietnam War veteran dog handlers lobbied congress, and finally a bill was approved allowing veteran US military working dogs to be brought home and adopted after their military service. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law in 2000.  The Vietnam War was the only American war in which US military dogs never came home.

Want to make sure they always come home?  Tell congress that military dogs are more than just equipment. Read more here.
Source: Acclaim Images

1 comment:

  1. Very informative article, specially these images looks awesome. Where was the photos taken? I want to know more information about the military dog memorial.