This Friday, we will turn the calendar and celebrate Veterans Day by honoring those who have served our country in one of the most important ways there are, by serving in our Armed Forces.
Every year on November 11th we honor these brave men and women….and canines? That’s right, service dogs have very important roles in our military as well.
U.S. Military Dogs have a rich history
Dogs serving alongside our armed forces have deep roots in our history. In fact, dogs have been in combat in almost every major conflict in our nation, even though they were not officially recognized until WWII. This came about because one brave soldier smuggled an even braver canine into battle. Stubby was able to save lives by sniffing out gas and warning our troops of enemies (source).
- What they do in battle:
Wonder exactly how they help? Well, they have been employed doing almost everything. From mascots to messengers and enemy trackers to bomb, weapon, and drug detection. Right now there are about 2500 dogs in active duty and 700 deployed overseas. And their presence in battle is invaluable. With their 98% accurate detection skills, the lives they save and peace of mind they give is truly outstanding (source).
They also serve as therapy dogs and canine companions
More than just battle ready buddies, canines also bring peace to veterans. Some research has shown that stress and depression is reduced from playing with and petting animals. That means veterans who suffer from PTSD can benefit greatly from having a dog in their lives. After coming home from war, soldiers can find civilian life harder than ever. When they have a dog by their side, they often feel more at peace than being completely alone.
Most service dogs are large or medium sized, like German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers, but even dogs as small as chihuahuas can provide therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD even though they can’t protect and serve on front lines. When it comes to comforting their fellow humans, size doesn’t matter.
- Charities that assist in Veterans in need:
There are a lot of Veterans in need, both two legged and four legged. Finding the right match can be hard. Luckily there are a handful of outlets that are dedicated to finding soldiers a canine companions. Places like Pets for Vets, Patriot Paws, Hero Dogs, and Soldier’s Best Friend help provide therapy and service dogs for veterans.
That’s why this Veterans Day, we’re going to celebrate everyone that helps keep our country safe. To all of those very special men, women, canines and their family, we can’t thank you enough for your dedication and service.
Happy Veterans Day From Tailored Pet Services!