The long and difficult road from idea to the reality of a national monument will soon culminate with its hopeful unveiling and dedication in October 2013 (exact day to be announced in June). It will be the nation’s one and only National Monument honoring Military Working Dog Teams of all U.S. Armed Services and of all Wars since WWII. The public dedication and celebration will unfold at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. See you there!
Aside from managing and working on the details of the national monument project, I am employed fulltime as an information technology senior technical writer/editor for Bart & Associates, Inc., McLean, Virginia. I have made my living working in the information technology field since I graduated from college and retired from the U.S. Army as a Master Sergeant in 1984. The Washington DC metropolitan area has been my home since 1978.
My passion for a national monument to honor America's military working dogs and handlers derived from having served in the U.S. Army infantry as a German Shepherd Scout Dog Hander. I had the honor of handling Scout Dogs’, Timber and Clipper, and a Sentry Dog named Hans during the Vietnam War (1966-1968).
Serving with these hero dogs is how I learned of their incredible lifesaving capabilities during combat situations. The dog’s sight, hearing, and sense of smell were far superior to that of any human soldier I had ever observed on the battlefield.
The key for me was learning to keep my eyes on the dog and accurately interpret his body language in a timely manner. This was especially important when I was trying to avoid booby traps or unknowingly entering the kill zone of an enemy ambush. My dog partners were adept at finding hidden enemy caches of ammunition and supplies, hidden base camps, and camouflaged tunnel entrances only a sniffing dog could find.
My personal stories about serving with Clipper, Timber, and Hans are detailed in my books, “Dog Tags of Courage” and “A Soldier’s Best Friend.”