War is a word that stirs up emotion in all of us. If only we could all live in a world of peace. Unfortunately, that is not the
case these days. One thing I do know is how important our canine companions are to their soldiers during war time in the past and present.
Express UK states wartime records show 20,000 dogs helped front line soldiers in First World War. The highly trained dogs, which were heavily used by Allied troops, were donated by families or from dog homes after being rescued living as strays. The work dogs did during the Great War was deemed so important by the War Office that in 1917 they formed the War Dog School of Instruction in Hampshire. They were well ahead of their time!
These days, we realize the important roles dogs play in a soldier’s life, whether they are currently serving or retired from the military. The Soldiers’ Animal Companions Fund (SAC Fund), an organization I volunteer for, understands this very well. Their primary goal is to promote the welfare and rescue of animals in war-torn Middle Eastern countries where United States and it’s allied soldiers are stationed. There are so many strays in this region that many times, they will wander on to a base looking for love, comfort, shelter and a way to survive. In addition, the Taliban and many (not all) locals in Afghanistan see dogs as pests not pets. These animals are usually abused, tortured and/or killed if not saved through this charity. Through the SAC Fund, they are able to help keep those animals who’ve meant so much to our troops safe until they are adopted out. They offer value, immeasurable comfort and keep their soldiers’ morale up as they are serving in harsh and extremely difficult situations. The soldiers’ usually become bonded with their canine companion and most of the time want to take them back home. This is where Nowzad Dogs Charity comes in. They are the first and only official dog shelter for strays in Afghanistan. Nowzad is a well designed and purpose built shelter that provides a safe, sheltered environment for 100 stray dogs and current soldier animal rescues they assist with on the outskirts of Kabul. SAC Fund and Nowzad work hand in hand to help adopt out and get a soldier’s animal transported back to their home overseas. Pretty amazing!
To prove the point how important dogs are to their soldiers and vice versa, watch the video below. It is just one example of dedication and loyalty this dog, Hawkeye, had for his fallen Navy SEAL Officer, Jon Tumilson. You can read the full article here.
Want to know more on how you can help these two causes? Consider these options:
- Donate to SAC Fund to help sponsor a soldier’s pet so they can go home with them.
- Volunteer your time and help educate the public.
- Set up a booth for SAC Fund at your town’s local festival or Market. Contact SAC Fund and they will be more than happy to provide the pamphlets, brochures,etc…for
To quote the late, great John Wooden, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Dog Won’t Leave Fallen Navy Seals Soldier’s Side