War Dogs Find Advocate in Vietnam Veteran

A veteran who was saved by a dog during combat wants canine soldiers honored with a national monument.

Posted: September 20, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

John Burnam just wants to give credit where credit’s due.

The Vietnam War veteran says a dog saved his life during battle. Now Burnam honors war dogs like the one who alerted him to incoming machine gun fire by traveling the country to advocate for a national war dog monument.

Looks like Burnam may get his wish. Legislation included in the House’s 2008 defense authorization bill would establish a national memorial at Fort Belvoir, Va.

“We aren’t equating them to humans, but we are saying ... there are families that have grandkids as a result of these dogs being deployed,” says Burnam, author of “Dog Tags of Courage: Combat Infantrymen and War Dog Heroes in Vietnam,” in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

The Vietnam Dog Handler Association estimates that dogs serving as sentries and booby-trap detectors saved 10,000 soldiers’ lives during the Vietnam War.

If passed, the bill, which is waiting to be heard in the Senate, could be signed into law as early as November.


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skiw9748   Hartford, AL

11/24/2012 9:38:56 AM

2458881 - They are special dogs, monument should go up ! Good Luck

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Marcella   Matthews, NC

4/28/2009 4:26:01 PM

In response to the email
below:

This dumb idea was shot down by Congress in 2006, and now the US Senate has deleted it from the Defense Authorization Bill for 2008. I'm sorry, but there are many more human heroes that need recognition before we build ANOTHER military dog monument (there are at least 15 all around the US, including a "United Staes War Dog Memorial" somewhere up in New Jersey, and 2 huge identical ones at March Field AFB, Calif. and the Ft Benning Infantry Museum in Georgia). This is a dumb idea! I really can't believe anyone would want to build a monument to the kind of jerks that would use a dog to torture prisoners of war which is exactly what some of these Combat War Dog Handlers have been convicted of in the last year. And convicted by military courts, so you can't say they were liberals trying to mess with the military. Bad idea that will be interpreted to honor bad actions by bad
men.
Harold, Tallahassee,
FL
Posted: 10/31/2007 7:16:38 PM


This person, Harold should be dropped behind enemy lines without the help of one of these amazing canines and try and find his way back home. These canines gave their lives for their handlers for the United States and for you!

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cassie   w.newfield, ME

4/24/2008 10:00:18 PM

I think it is very admirable to give these dogs credit. without them more soldiers would not have made it. good for you for advocating for them. i hope the monument does go up. GOOD LUCK!

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Harold   Tallahassee, FL

10/31/2007 7:16:38 PM

This dumb idea was shot down by Congress in 2006, and now the US Senate has deleted it from the Defense Authorization Bill for 2008. I'm sorry, but there are many more human heroes that need recognition before we build ANOTHER military dog monument (there are at least 15 all around the US, including a "United Staes War Dog Memorial" somewhere up in New Jersey, and 2 huge identical ones at March Field AFB, Calif. and the Ft Benning Infantry Museum in Georgia). This is a dumb idea! I really can't believe anyone would want to build a monument to the kind of jerks that would use a dog to torture prisoners of war which is exactly what some of these Combat War Dog Handlers have been convicted of in the last year. And convicted by military courts, so you can't say they were liberals trying to mess with the military. Bad idea that will be interpreted to honor bad actions by bad men.

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