Thursday, July 17, 2008

Military Dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan

I think it's safe to say that most people are aware that the United States of America has Military stationed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder though how many people are aware that the USA also has canine soldiers working hard and risking their lives every single day in both of these countries. Clearly, our country's involvement in both of these wars has created much conflict here at home. And I'm not going to debate those issues here. My point and focus are on these dogs. On average the daily temperature in Iraq is approxiately 110-120 degrees. This is hot enough to melt the asphalt that these dogs walk on. It makes the sand hot as well. Sand blows around in any breeze that comes along, and gets into the dogs eyes. Several months ago, another member of our local dog club, Gem City Dog Obedience Club, approached the club's president and asked her to go to the Board and ask if they would consider donating one cooling vest, doggles (goggles for the eyes) and booties. These sets are very expensive... costing approximately $200-$300 per set. The Board's response was too donate two complete sets, and to launch a major fundraising effort. To date, the club has raised over $2000.00 and efforts continue. Also, a locatl 4H club has embraced this cause, and in less than 9 days, raised enough money to sponsor several sets. Last night, the club had it's annual ice cream social. The canine unit was on hand and we were able to watch demonstrations of what these dogs are able to do. It was amazing. These dogs are all treated very well. They are loved and very happy. And in all truth, not only do they work very hard, their presence there does wonder for the morale of our troops. The kids from the 4H group were there as well and they presented one of the dogs who will be deployed to Iraq very soon with his set. Our local ABC/Fox News affiliate was present and gave us nice coverage.

I am adding a link, that will hopefully allow anyone interested to watch their report.

Here is a link, where you can read more about this project: