GUARDIANS OF AMERICA FREEDOM MEDAL: MILITARY DOGS AND THEIR HANDLERS MAY BE GETTING AWARD OF THEIR OWN

GUARDIANS OF AMERICA FREEDOM MEDAL: MILITARY DOGS AND THEIR HANDLERS MAY BE GETTING AWARD OF THEIR OWN


By:  Jenni Fink
Newsweek

New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez announced on August 7, which happened to be Purple Heart Day, that Congress passed his bill to establish a military medal for K-9s and their handlers, and it's on its way to be signed by President Donald Trump.

During a press conference at the United States War Dogs Memorial in New Jersey, Menendez explained that it will become the first official commendation medal recognizing the service and sacrifice of K-9s and their handlers in the United States military.

The senator first introduced the Guardians of America Freedom Medal Act in 2016 and explained that in their own way, military working dogs are also American heroes that have unique abilities to help keep both service members and the country safe.

“We should commend them, on the record, and give them the respect and recognition they have earned and deserve,” he said on his website at the time. He added that if the nation can “strap a Kevlar vest on a dog and send it into battle,” the country should also be able to “pin a medal to its collar.”

On Tuesday, Menendez called it the least the country can do to honor military working dogs, which he referred to as “indispensable” to society. The senator shared a story about Sergeant Stubby, a bull terrier mix that served in the United States 102nd Infantry during World War I.

“Sergeant Stubby is credited with capturing a German spy, comforting wounded soldiers and saving countless lives by sniffing out poison gas and barking warnings to the men in the trenches,” Menendez explained.

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