Tomorrow morning when the young, and young-at-heart, rise early to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, Calif., viewers will be in for a heart-tugging treat; a float dedicated to military working dogs.
Sponsored by Natural Balance Pet Foods, the “Canines with Courage” float was inspired by the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument that will be dedicated in 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.
Typically referred to as MWDs, military working dogs, are the unsung heroes of war.
The war in Afghanistan, and previously the war in Iraq, has relied heavy on four-pawed warriors to save the lives of soldiers and civilians, alike.
Various branches of the military have slightly different approaches to their canine warriors. The Navy’s working dogs don’t get “home time” like their human partners. When the deployment is over, the MWD comes home but is immediately assigned to another handler and soon returns to war.
Out of respect for the work they do, the Marines give their working dogs one rank higher than their handler.
Tomorrow’s float will be escorted by four working dog handlers representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Read the Los Angeles Times/Columbian story about MWD Lucca here.
Examiner’s Note: Most military working dogs are Belgian Malinois or German shepherds; however other breeds have also been used heavily in the past several years. Military working dogs are trained at Lackland Air Base in San Antonio. Puppies Behind Bars also provides working dogs for warriors.
The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related news stories from around the world.
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