Welcome to the national effort to make March 13 K9 Veterans Day. March 13, 1942 is the official birthday of the United States K9 Corps, and so it seems only right to annually honor their service on that date. They served to save, and they deserve to be remembered.
Because of the attacks on our homeland, many more dogs than are normally associated with the term “war dogs” are in the fight, and this campaign will not discriminate against them. The war came to us, and so it has become seriously important to us as a Nation to have our borders, transportation centers, ports, bases, fuel dumps, energy compounds, and many more places, as well guarded as is possible, and for the most part they are guarded by dogs that are not in the military. Police K9s, Customs K9s, Border Patrol K9s, Secret Service K9s, Airport Police K9s, F.B.I. K9s, and others are working daily to protect the homeland, and they should be honored accordingly. Some of those very dogs died at Ground Zero. They have all served to save, and they all deserve to be remembered.
Privately handled dogs are also a part of the war effort in ways that have never been done before. Search and Rescue dog teams worked tirelessly at Ground Zero, and at the Pentagon. Private bomb dog and security dog teams are in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other sites as needed; and they are very much needed, and sincerely appreciated by our troops. And private Therapy dogs are in the hospitals both here and abroad, helping to heal our hero’s. Service dogs are now assisting those who are handicapped by the war to have a more meaningful life. And may we never forget as well the service of those privately handled dogs who search for the remains that are so important to their families. And of course many of our troops will readily tell you of how an unofficial war dog, a mascot, helped in keeping one’s spirits high as the horrors of war worked to depress them.
First and foremost are the military dogs of all our wars, as their service and sacrifice paved the way for the creation of all the other uses for dogs. And we are certainly honored to have current handlers voicing their support for this campaign. Dogs have bled, suffered, and died while serving in all our wars, to include this war on terror, and they have done so in ways that do us all proud. Dogs were there in the trenches of France in WW I, and the slopes of Iwo Jima in WW II, and though many were pure breeds, some others were mixed breeds, and our troops didn’t care either way. They were simply grateful to have one, and they treated them with respect as a fellow soldier. Of course dogs also served with honor in Korea, and Vietnam, and wherever our Country has called them to serve. And unlike other so called weapons, dogs served not to take a life, but to save them. They served to save, and they deserve to be remembered.
Our home base is Jacksonville Beach in Florida, and both Jacksonville and the State of Florida have signed proclamations declaring March 13 as K9 Veterans Day, setting the example for the rest of the Nation. That beginning 2 years ago has blossomed into the current effort to get every state, and as many cities as is possible, to also proclaim March 13 as a much deserved special day to honor our war dogs, and we very much encourage you get your home town involved. Others have already gotten their city committed to making the proclamation, and March 13 celebrations are being planned. And we stand ready to assist you in also getting these things done where you live. Ultimately we will take the fight to the Congress asking that they officially, and forever more, declare March 13 as K9 Veterans Day. And in this day of organized, well funded, groups against dogs in general, we are fighting back, for the dogs, reminding everyone that DOGS ARE VETERANS TOO.
There are no membership fees required for you to join us in this honorable undertaking, and we are not asking you to raise money for us. You see, just like those whom we seek to honor, who never asked for anything but love, we only seek your heart felt desire to help, and to be a voice for those deserving Veterans who have no voice.
Simply drop me an email if you want to be a part of this historical undertaking. And if you are interested, I do sell logo t-shirts, logo stickers, and you can symbolically enlist your own pet in our Memorial Army to help with general expenses. And by all means send me any suggestions, and/or contacts that you may have, and pass us around to everyone you can think of, and get on our mailing list for future updates. K9veteransday@aol.com
Joseph J. White