November 11 – Veterans Day and The Dogs of War

In the United States, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day. But it is also an appropriate time to show appreciation for the Dogs of War.

National War Dog Cemetary

Some notable milestones in the use of dogs at war include:

1776: Newfoundland dogs served as messengers during the Revolutionary War

1865: During the Civil War, dogs were used as messengers, guards, and mascots

1884: The German Army established the first organized Military School for training war dogs at Lechernich, near Berlin

Part of a great selection of pictures of military dogs at twentytwowords.com

1898: Dogs served as scouts in the jungles of Cuba in the Spanish-American War

1914: Dogs served as messengers between trenches in World War I

1965: Some 3-4,000 scout and sentry dogs served in Vietnam

1991: During the Gulf War, the U.S. used 88 teams of dogs to guard and protect their troops, supplies and aircraft.

2009: Some 2,000 dogs serve GIs in the Middle East, mostly sniffing for explosives.

270px-Belgian_Shepherd_Malinois_on_top_of_tank

U.S. Air Force dog atop an M2A3 Bradley in Iraq, 2007

Dogs have also been used to help veterans returning from wars, to cope with PTSD.

For more information, see The United States War Dogs Association and this “Short History of Canines in Combat” from the Military History site.

Cario the dog was involved in the operation that killed bin Laden.

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