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Dogs in Warfare: Fur Missile Deploy

Active Military
Active Military
September 1, 2023
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The recorded use of dogs in warfare goes back as early as 600 B.C. This is not to say man’s best friend wasn't helping stack bodies before then, that’s just when the nerds decided it was important enough to write down. In fact, an epitaph recorded in the mid-7th century B.C. details the burial of a Magnesian horseman named Hippaemon, and his war hound, Lethargos. (I bet Lethargos was the goodest dog to ever live.)

Battle Borkers have been used extensively throughout the history of armed conflict. Much more recently than Lethargos, a K9 named Conan was thrust into the national spotlight. After serving in over 50 combat missions with U.S. Special Operations Command, the Belgian Malinois helped take down Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being injured in the process. Conan made a full recovery and was even honored at the White House.

According to the Pentagon, the US military has over 1600 military working dogs. That staggering figure does not even account for all the working dogs that are currently utilized by first responders and other governmental agencies. 

Law-enforcement frequently uses working dogs to identify possible explosives, and sniff out smugglers of hard drugs, to keep our communities safe.

As a side note, there is a nearby dog park named after a retired police dog. Imagine getting out of prison, and finding out that the dog that ruined your opioid trafficking ring has a statue at the park named after them, but I digress.

Working Dogs to Service Dogs

Beyond mauling terrorists and finding explosives, K9s are also trained to help those with disabilities lead more fulfilling lives. Many working dogs even end up as emotional support dogs for the service member they survived life and death situations with.

As we observe National Service Dog Month it is important to remember the hard working dogs, and the organizations that tirelessly work to match highly trained service dogs with those in need.

One such organization is K9s For Warriors. Their mission is to provide “highly-trained Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma.”

However, you can't just slap a tactical vest on your best friend and call it a service dog. These elite woofers are highly trained for specific scenarios. They can help identify medical issues, and some can even recognize panic attacks. This bond can have untold positive effects on those struggling with PTSD.

92% of the veteran graduates reported they use less medication to manage their stress related injuries. 82% Of their veteran graduates report, fewer suicidal ideations.

If you, or a loved one, are struggling from past trauma, this organization may be able to help. If you already have all the four-legged love you need in your life, consider donating, or supporting their efforts to help our community heal.

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