Good Evening!!! After a long Monday afternoon at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, I finally found time to write an]bout the dedication of the newest monument in San Antonio, Texas. The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was unveiled for the first time before a large crowd of former Dog Handler Veterans from World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War , Gulf War and the War on Terror. Billed as the ‘Guardians of America’s Freedom, the 4 dog breeds most commonly trained are depicted in bronze standing next to a Dog Handler. The breeds are Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois. What a spectacular sight!!
The speeches made were about how the Military Working Dog (MWD) and the bond that formed between handler and canine warriors. The stories of how the MWD alerted the warriors to bombs, attacks, and the human lives saved by the courageous MWD, without regard to their own safety. Of how deep the human-canine bond went between the pair entrusted with the safety of the rest of the troops. From Generals in-charge to the Handlers, the story never changed…. of how the dog watched over their human counterparts.
And there I was with The Colonel paying TADSAW’s respects to the monument and the special occasion. But the one thing that went thru my mind was of the stories, and how similar they were to what goes on with the TADSAW program. ‘Train a Dog – Save a Warrior’ and build on the human-canine bond by having the Veteran train and teach their canine ‘Battle Buddy’.
The respect that the Department of Defense and the 5 branches of the Armed Forces give to the MWD and the saving of human lives, should be heard by those same ears when it comes to the use of Medical Alert Service Dogs and saving the lives of the Wounded Warriors that have returned home from deployment. TWENTY-TWO veterans are victims of suicide daily. That should be enough for the Military to re-think the use of more Service Dogs for survivors of PTSD, MST and/or TBI.
Tonight on the MTV show Snooki & JWOWW, there appeared a rather ‘touchy’ subject in regards to Jenni wanting to train her dog to be a service dog in order that the dog can go with her everywhere. The problem is that it cheapens the concept of a Service Dog being needed by a Disabled Veteran in order to improve the Veteran’s Quality of Life. Too many times and too many telephone call have I received from a distraught Veteran about being refused entry into s store or restaurant, because the management knew nothing about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2010 granting the Right of Access into public businesses.
The MTV show might have chosen a subject other than ‘phony’ Service Dogs, or at least have the reality characters confess to her abuse of the Law and the system that so protects the rights of our Nation’s Disabled Veterans and their Medical Alert Service Dogs.
And now the really big news that I received…. a Veteran and his Battle Buddy training in Nevada passed the TADSAW Public Access Temperament Test and are now TADSAW Service Dog Team 0171!!!! CONGRATULATIONS to Steven & LB: TSD0171 and Paul the Trainer. Good Luck as the Team go forward into the future.
Now that is the WOW MOMENT!!! 171 Service Dog Teams since August 2010!!!
Thank You all for reading and sharing this blog to others….
As always, I remain……Bart