Hero dogs get national recognition

The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument is dedicated to hero dogs and their handlers

Hero Dogs

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - It's the first time in history something like it exist. A national monument, dedicated to hero dogs and their handlers.

The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland was created thanks to tireless efforts by author and Veitnam veteran, John Burnam. He says it's something that should have been done years ago. 

"It's just an unbreakable bond that they want to serve whenever they can as much as they can and they don't give up, so I looked at it from that perspective, as he didn't give up on me so I couldn't give up on him for this monument," said Burnam.

Burnam says he was forced to leave his dog , Clipper, behind in Vietnam, so he says working to bring the monument to life was his way of paying Clipper back.

Military dogs spend 120 days in intense training. Since World War II, the special dogs have helped to sniff out the enemy overseas, saving countless lives.

"Their sense of smell is far above ours and that's how we train them to search out different odors whether it be explosive or narcotics,"  said Sgt.  Lee Bartholomew, chief  trainer of military dog teams at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Training Center in Twentynine Palms.

Two military working dogs from the base in Twentynine Palms will be honored during a special ceremony at the Walk for the Animals event in Palm Springs on Saturday.

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