Community Honors Military Working Dogs – Fort Carson Mountaineer
By Walt Johnson
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Members of the Fort Carson family and their dogs bond during the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Branch’s fifth annual Warrior Dog Memorial Run at Iron Horse Park on June 4, 2022.
The 5k race was scheduled for late May 2022, in conjunction with K-9 Veterans Day, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather in the Colorado Springs area. K-9 Veterans Day is an unofficial recognition of military working dogs and their handlers, according to DFMWR officials.
Weather was not a factor on June 4, 2022 as runners and pets were greeted by 70 degree temperatures and nearly cloudless skies. When the runners and pets arrived at the facility, the atmosphere began to change from calm to excitement. The chance to run the race with their pets was the overwhelming sense of well-being people had that made them happy. One runner after another took the time to not only prepare for the race by stretching, but making sure they and their pets were hydrated and ready to run as well.
The country has a long history of K-9 service dogs. They have served in the military since 1942, when an organization called Dogs for Defense was founded to train dogs to be sentries for supply depots. After the U.S. Army approved the program in March 1942, the U.S. Army K-9 Corps was founded on March 13, 1942.
According to the national K9 veterans organization, military working dogs have made a great contribution to the defense of the nation. Working dogs are among the most disciplined animals and there is no doubting their ability to be reliable partners.
“Military working dogs already bring us such joy by being kind and loyal,” according to the organization’s website. “However, they bring us even more joy when they work for justice. From the first sentry dogs in Dogs of Defense to dogs trained to detect contraband or track criminals, K-9 dogs can and have done it all. Historically, K-9 dogs have served as search and rescue teams at Ground Zero, served as security dogs, and more. We thank them for their service. »
After the race was over, people were able to watch a demonstration of working dogs by the Fort Carson Military Police. During the protest, people got to see a working dog and handler controlling an arrest situation and apprehending a potential criminal while being disciplined even as he overpowered the suspect.
Military working dogs, like the military, are placed into a retired status after their service time expires. President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill that now allows the adoption of military working dogs.