Photos by Michigan War Dog Memorial
South Lyons, Michigan- During the Vietnam War 4,234 “War Dogs” were deployed. They had one main mission, to save the lives of our men and women in uniform. They did their job well, it is estimated they saved over 10,000 lives during this war. As the War was winding down an order came through that all the troops would be pulling out, the troops were ecstatic. All the dog handlers ran to the kennels and hugged their battle buddy and said: “Buddy we’re going home”. A few weeks later an order came down from Washington DC to leave the dogs. The handlers couldn’t believe it, however, the order stood.
The problem was the K9’s were classified as equipment and it was customary when the units are being pulled out and excess equipment is not needed anywhere else it was left behind. With the dogs being classified as “Equipment” they fell under that rule.
To honor these well-trained K9’s that saved so many lives the Michigan War Dog Memorial erected a Black Granite Wall with all their names and tattoo numbers to recognize them for their service and sacrifice to our country. They will be forever memorized and will “Never be Forgotten.” The Vietnam K9 Memorial wall was dedicated on June 24th in South Lyon Michigan. Forty-five Vietnam dog handlers were present and located the name and tattoo numbers of their dogs. Keynote speakers included Ron Aiello – US War Dog Association – President, John Burnam – Founder National War Dog Monument – Author, and John Langley – Vietnam Dog Handler Association.
This Michigan War Dog Memorial raised over $40,000 to complete this project along with countless hours of planning. To find out more about the Michigan War Dog Memorial visit their website at http://www.mwdm.org.