Different breeds of canines have been used in combat since the beginning of time. Many breeds even originated because they were needed for war including some of our favorite “gentle giants” like the Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound. Whether they were toted around for companionship or used on the front lines, there is no denying how important canines have been to soldiers in history.
We see many dogs on patrol and watch in and around several U.S. military bases, and in recent years, the relationship between the dog and the soldier has evolved. While dogs — many training in the Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Program — are still used for bomb sniffing and search and rescue endeavors in combat zones, they are hardly used as simple messengers or combat weapons like in previous years. The Military Working Dog Program still trains hundreds of dogs for military protection and detection of bombs and other harmful substances, with an estimated 2,300 dogs that are currently on duty throughout the world. However, now in conjunction with their wartime service, dogs are also being used to help soldiers recover from the wounds of war – both physically and mentally.
Dogs are often present at VA hospitals where soldiers are recovering from wounds that are suffered in war. The healing power of a canine companion by your side can be unparalleled. Studies have even found that having a canine counterpart can help soldiers recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a horrible mental condition caused by the horrors of war. There is just something about a dog, the way they look at us an wag their tail when we are hurt or sad can turn tears to laughter. They are so much like us, they suffer through the same things that we do when they are with us at war. No living creature in the world knows the meaning of bravery and loyalty like a dog, they are heroes in all they do, War Heroes, or Heroes of our Hearts. Thanks for your time.