Today I learned that a mere 30 minute drive from my house is the only private war memorial devoted to canine heroes, at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.
The Department of Defense is doggedly (sorry) opposed to official recognition of canine veterans, according to US War Dogs Association Head Ron Aiello, out of concern that it would detract from the accomplishments of the human honorees.
I fully admit I am not an expert on military life. I have not served in the military or lived with a working military dog. That being said, I can think of no stronger advocate for military dogs, no one more adamant about the importance of their contributions, than the men and women who serve alongside them. I have a hard time imagining any of those soldiers I have met objecting to that kind of honor.
The good news is, the dogs don’t care. They will continue to serve bravely and with honor, not because they are looking for medals but because that is their job. In that they are much like their human counterparts. And that is enough.
Thank you to all our armed service members on this fine Memorial Day.