Speech of Hon. Scott Garrett of New Jersey in the House of Representatives

Recognizing Military Working Dog Program

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize some of the unsung heroes of our ongoing military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq: the Military Working Dogs (MWDs). For over 60 years, military dogs have been working, serving, and risking their lives alongside our brave servicemen and women around the world. Like their handlers, these Military Working Dogs have served this country with honor and distinction, keeping our country safe both at home and abroad.

During World War I, many dogs, beginning with the first military dog, Sergeant Stubby, served alongside American forces overseas. On March 13, 1942, the Army Quartermaster Corps officially recognized and incorporated the so-called K-9 Corps. Between 1942 and 1945, over 10,000 dogs were trained in the War Dogs program. Military dogs have continued to play an important role in the U.S. Armed Forces through the 20th century and into the 21st. Today, these four-legged soldiers serve alongside our soldiers overseas, searching for explosive components, drugs, and IEDs. As they do every day in our homes and yards, these dogs have proven to be man’s best friend on the battlefield as well.

I became aware of the important work of Military Working Dogs through Frank Yevchak, a constituent from Hewitt, NJ and founder of Support Our Four-Legged Soldiers. Frank and his organization have sent thousands of dollars of supplies to MWD handlers stationed in Balad, Iraq. Supplies range from cooling vests and blankets to toys and treats–whatever the handlers need to keep the dogs comfortable and able to complete their important jobs. Frank also includes letters and cards from local students in the care packages. Most recently, Frank has partnered with Macopin Middle School in West Milford. In the fall and winter, the “Paws of Love Campaign” at the school was able to raise $1,200 for our soldiers and canine companions.

As a dog owner, I understand the important traits of loyalty, courage, and dependability that these dogs give to our Armed Forces. Today, one day shy of the Military Working Dogs’ 68th birthday, I recognize the important work of Military Working Dogs and thank their owners, trainers, handlers, and supporters for all they do for our soldiers and our Nation.

Source:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2010-03-09/html/CREC-2010-03-09-pt1-PgE328-4.htm
[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 33 (Tuesday, March 9, 2010)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E328-E329]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]