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The dogs did not get to rotate home, and served more than one master. These men and dogs were credited with saving numerous lives. Check your local Dymocks store for stock. Enter your postcode: Please enter a valid postcode. Please note that prices may vary between www. Sorry, an error occurred while checking availability.
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Infantry for Men
Trending Items in Military. Michael Veitch. Ranulph Fiennes. Thursday, November 10, Staff Writer. Aiello and Stormy were responsible for leading a platoon as they searched two villages, he said, noting their job was to ensure there were no ambushes waiting to happen, no booby traps ready to explode. Nothing was found in the first village, but as Aiello and Stormy headed down a trail and into a clearing near the second one, Stormy stopped, her head snapping up.
Remembering our four-legged veterans
Aiello knelt down beside her. Instead, Aiello dived behind a ridge, and about 30 Marines behind him were alerted to the danger. I read the alert and we got out. When Aiello left Vietnam 13 months later, Stormy stayed behind to work with another handler, but the former Marine never forgot her.
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Now he is working to ensure that Stormy and the thousands of other U. The president of the U. War Dogs Association, Aiello said the nonprofit organization based in Burlington Township is raising funds to establish a life-size statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel to honor military canines and their handlers.
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That's the reason we decided to do this memorial, to honor their service to our country and to their handlers. Kelly Watts, executive director of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, said the military dogs and their handlers deserve recognition. The New Jersey War Dog Memorial is being created by sculptor Bruce Lindsay, who has a studio in Hamilton , and will feature a German shepherd on all fours alerting his kneeling handler to danger, Aiello said.
The goal is to have it erected in time for a June dedication. Formed in and incorporated as a nonprofit organization a year later, the U.
War Dogs Association was created to educate the public about the positive contributions of military working dogs, Aiello said. Most of its members are from the Northeast and are former or current military dog handlers, he said. According to Aiello, dogs were used by the military during World War I, and also during World War II when civilians were asked to loan their dogs to the war effort. The practice continued during the Korean and Vietnam wars, he said. Working together, the dogs and their handlers saved lives, Aiello said.
During Vietnam , he said, scout dogs were used to lead patrols and provide "an early warning system" of trouble ahead. The dogs, mostly German shepherds, were trained to pick up the human scent and also the scent of explosive materials. They also could pick up sounds the human ear couldn't, such as a slight breeze rolling over a booby trap trip wire, he said. Sentry dog teams were used by every branch of the U.
The Army also had tracker dogs, usually black Labrador retrievers, he said. Aiello said he volunteered to be a handler because he left a pound German shepherd at home in when he enlisted in the Marines at the age of 19, and he and Stormy trained together for three months before being sent to Vietnam. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and the experience of a lifetime.
Aiello credits Stormy with not only saving lives, but keeping him "sane" during his time in Vietnam. Even when I was in a bad situation it helped to have my dog by my side. She kept me sane, and not only me but other Marines, too. Maybe they had a dog back home and they missed their dog. After Aiello left Vietnam in , he heard Stormy was still working there as of July , but he is unsure what happened to her after that. Close to dogs were killed in action, and the balance were either euthanized or turned over to the South Vietnamese army, he said.
That's the reason the U. War Dogs Association wants to honor all military working dogs and their handlers with a memorial, he said. Ward Dogs Association, Cummings Ave. For more information go to uswardogs. The high-quality work of the Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown has recently gone to the dogs as they begin a project of collecting and sending food and toy care packages to soldier dogs and their handlers of the United States Armed Forces.
What an excellent time of year!