Feds promise more service dogs for vets with PTSD

National K-9 Veterans Day falls on March 13 because thats the date the U.S. Army K9 Corps was formed in 1942. The corps was created mostly as part of the World War II effort and started with dog experts who scoped out the roles dogs could be trained to do.

Civilian trainers gave way as the Army took over with an expanded role for canines. “The 200 dogs first envisioned grew into more than 10,400. Most were family pets shipped into national service,” according to a story on FidoUniverse.

“Since retiring from the military, I have worked to help veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury connect with trained service dogs,” he said. “I know the difference my service dog, Axel, has made in my life. I have worked with my fellow veterans to help former handlers get reunited with their K9 brothers-in-arms. These handlers and their dogs looked out for each other in combat; now they care for each other at home.”

March 13 is National Jewel Day, Earmuff Day, Good Samaritan Day and Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, according to the National Day Calendar.

“Our militarys K9 warriors are true lifesavers,” said Capt. Haag in a statement. “Each combat service dog saves anywhere from 150 to 200 American lives. Much like the men and women with whom they serve, these dogs are highly trained to seek out threats and neutralize threats. They put their lives on the line to protect our armed forces and often innocent civilians as well.”

March 13 is National K-9 Veterans Day

All that said, its also a day that is worth observing: National K-9 Veterans Day.

A retired military working dog trainer came up with the idea for the day, which falls on the birthday of the Army K-9 Corps formation in 1942, the National Day Calendar explained.

Every Heroic Dog Gets Its Day

According to the publication, the United States realized the potential of military canines after seeing the Europeans use dogs as sentries and message carriers during WWI.

A private citizen launched the Dogs for Defense program, which worked with breeders and the American Kennel Club to train dogs for military use.

Among the ranks of WWII war dogs, a German Shepherd and scout dog named Chips even earned distinction under fire, after he broke away from his handlers and attacked an enemy machine gun nest in Italy. Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart — though the Army later rescinded the awards, due to a policy preventing the official commendation of animals.

As demand grew, the military took over dog training. Over the years, working dogs became more widely used by law enforcement at home.

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