|The War Dogs Issue|
|Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman wants to honor America's working military dogs and is planning to introduce legislation in the Senate to that effect.
Although the Lieberman camp denies the move has anything to do with capturing votes, it will no doubt be welcomed by the 36 percent of Americans who own dogs, and that's a group that no presidential candidate can overlook. Similar legislation has already been introduced in the House by Congressman Robin Hayes of North Carolina.
Lieberman is also asking for a "National War Dog Memorial" to be erected in Washington, D.C. There are reports that such a memorial will spark debate over where to place it, how to depict the canine (as a rescuer or a fighter), and what breed to use. Dozens of different breeds have aided US troops over the years.
Following is the text of the resolution introduced in the House by Congressman Hayes in January, 2003:
Whereas beginning in World War I, the United States Armed Forces have actively recruited, trained, equipped, and deployed tens of thousands of military working dog teams to ensure the safety of United States military and civilian personnel operating under the exigencies of war and peacekeeping operations;
Whereas since World War I, tens of thousands of American families have donated dogs to the Armed Forces in an effort to help protect and save American lives during times of war and peacekeeping missions on foreign soil;
Whereas the tasks that military working dog teams have been trained to perform include scout, water scout, sentry, tracker, messenger, tunnel detector, mine, booby trap and bomb detector, search and rescue, and drug detector;
Whereas during the Vietnam War , bounties were offered for the termination of military working dogs and their handlers because of their effectiveness at detecting enemy infiltrations into United States airfields and base camps, alerting on snipers and ambushes, sniffing out hidden enemy base camps, locating enemy underground tunnel complexes, and finding hidden caches of enemy weapons, food, and medical supplies;
Whereas thousands of military dog handlers and their dogs have been killed or wounded in action;
Whereas dogs have abilities that the most advanced technology cannot match, rendering them invaluable to personnel serving in the Armed Forces;
Whereas dogs have not only helped win battles and save lives, but also have had an enormous beneficial effect upon the mental well-being of those humans with whom they served, sometimes in the severest of battle conditions;
Whereas tens of thousands of additional United States service members would have been killed or wounded in action had it not been for the courageous efforts and sacrifices of military working dog teams; and
Whereas the Armed Forces continue to train, equip, and deploy thousands of military working dog teams in support of United States peacekeeping missions around the world: Now, therefore, be it:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors the service and sacrifice of the tens of thousands of United States Armed Forces working dog teams that served during World War I, World War II, the Korean War , the Vietnam War , the Persian Gulf War , and Bosnia peacekeeping operations and the working dog teams serving during current operations in the Global War on Terrorism.