Filed under: Veterans
Dogs have been used in warfare for more than 2,000 years, and they have been a part of the U.S. military arsenal since before the Civil War. The official dog of the USMC is the Doberman Pinscher. A Belgian Malinois was part of Operation Neptune Spear. Until now, most dogs involved overseas have been left behind when troops returned home.
In 2012, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act was introduced to Congress to change the status of dogs in the U.S. military from that of equipment to that of military veterans. To streamline the process, the proposal was then tagged on as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, which just passed the U.S. Congress and only awaits the signature of President Obama. The legislation will ensure that military dogs will be transported back to the U.S., receive veterinary care, and retire with an adoptive family or, if not suitable as pets, at a military facility.
Even more: A new national monument honoring America’s canine heroes will be unveiled in 2013 at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. But before then, a floral replica of the monument will appear in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year’s Day 2013 with Lucca aboard – a German Shepherd who lost a leg to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan – accompanied by other military dogs and their handlers.