Monumental canine heroes

By Connie Orcutt • Published: February 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

In the fall of 2013, the United States’ first national monument to combat dogs was dedicated at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The statue shows a handler with each of the four major canine breeds currently used in the military: Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and Belgian Malinois [mal-in-WAH].

Lackland houses the U.S. armed forces center where dogs have been trained for all arms of the military since 1958. Over the years, military dogs have shown unflagging valor. In World War I, the sniffing powers of a well-known bulldog were used to detect poisonous gas. Throughout World War II and in Korea and Vietnam, dogs served as scouts, trackers and sentries. And in Iraq and Afghanistan, courageous canines searched out makeshift explosives.

The sculpture’s title is right on target: “Guardians of America’s Freedom.”