They’re comforting, loyal and above all, heroic. In honor of Memorial Day, we’d like to take a moment to not only recognize the men and women that selflessly serve our country, but the four-legged heroes who bravely protect our country as well.
Since World War 1, the U.S. has been using working military dogs to assist soldiers in a number of ways due to their keen visual and olfactory sensory abilities, which are often unparalleled to humans. Their super powers have made them ideal for assisting in tasks including tracking, detecting explosives or narcotics, casualty locations, search and rescue, and more. Their senses are so remarkable they can even sniff out intruders up to 200 meters away!
Over the years, military dogs have had a wide range of roles, but in modern times specific duties have been defined where dogs can give their best service. While in the past they’ve assisted from catching rats to draw fire to expose enemy positions, today they are given even more tasks that apply best to their skill levels with categories including Scout or Patrol Dogs, Tunnel Dogs, Mine Dogs, Casualty Dogs, and more.
Another way dogs benefit our two-legged service men? They’ve been proven to benefit those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), common among many war veterans. Among the many benefits, service members have reported improved sleep, decreased use of pain medications and lowered levels of stress after engaging with service dogs.
Needless to say, we tip our hats to thousands of dogs who have played tremendous roles in military work and we truly salute them this Memorial Day, and every day!