Four brave K-9s have been awarded the nation’s top honors for valor for their service in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, Capital Hill hosted a ceremony during which the K-9s were given the award. According to a press release, more than 19 members of Congress and 200 staffers attended the event alongside the brave K-9s.
The K-9s consist of a German Shepherd who detected an IED while also coming under enemy fire; a Labrador retriever who served for nearly half a dozen combat tours, all while detecting IEDs and protecting U.S. servicemen and women; a Belgian Malinois that served for more than 50 combat missions; and a German Shepherd who protected many prominent figures, including the President and Generals.
Many K-9s have been injured or even killed while serving. The German Shepherd whom was awarded this prestigious accolade, for instance, sustained serious injury during am ambush, forcing surgeons to amputate his right leg. He has since been retired from military service, although he reportedly still works as a service dog.
The American Humane Association created the awards in conjunction with the U.S. military. It’s a little-known fact that the Human Associated has worked with the military for over a century, assisting the military in their efforts to use K-9s in service and missions. This recent awards ceremony was sponsored by the Human Association.
K-9s play a vital role in the U.S. military. As noted by Dr. Robin Ganzert, these “four-footed” partners have helped soldiers since the early days of the military. And today, they are more important than ever in protecting servicemen and women from danger.
“Soldiers have been relying on these four-footed comrades-in-arms since the beginning of organized warfare and today military dogs are more important than ever in keeping our service men and women safe,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert.
K-9s are typically used to sniff out explosives in active war zones. A dog’s sense of smell is approximately 40 times greater than our own, allowing them to identify drugs and explosives simply through smell. Of course, K-9s are also highly effective in close-to-close combat and pursuit, with agility and speed that’s unmatched compared to humans. For these reasons, they make excellent companions on the battlefield.
You can learn more about these K-9s and the award ceremony by visiting this link.