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thedrifter
11-06-02, 10:05 AM
Posted on Wed, Nov. 06, 2002

Vietnam Vets Buy N.Y. Dog Statue
RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - After raising money to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and other causes, the Vietnam Veterans of America found they still had some money left - so they bought a dog.

Not just any dog, but one of the hundred or so plastic DOGNY statues that are being placed around New York City by the American Kennel Club, commemorating the search and rescue dogs of ground zero.

The veterans' dog, gussied up in camouflage combat gear, was placed in the lobby of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Manhattan, where on Monday it was dedicated to the 4,000 scout, sentry and tracker dogs and their military handlers in the Vietnam War.

"A lot of our guys were dog handlers so they really appreciate this," said John Rowan, president of the VVA's New York chapter. He led the delegation laying a wreath in the colors of the Vietnam service ribbon, which is based on the yellow and red flag of the U.S.-backed Saigon government.

The dog statue, clad in camouflaged helmet and poncho, web gear, canteen and boots, with a "K-9" dog tag around its neck, drew amused and curious looks from hospital staff, patients and visitors.

Dogs were popular with many American combat units in Vietnam, especially valued for their ability in scouting the rugged terrain and spotting tripwires and other clues to hidden booby traps.

Of the dogs that served with U.S. forces in Indochina, about 280 were killed in action. Unlike the original K-9 Corps dogs of World War I and World War II, the rest of them did not return home. Concerns about disease and readjustment mandated that they be put down.

"This is a good thing, really an honor, recognizing that those dogs did a lot," said Robert Deluccy, a former Vietnam War artilleryman who was seeing friends at the hospital. "Those dogs saved a lot of lives. It's a shame we had to take theirs."

The American Kennel Club's DOGNY program provides financial support for canine search and rescue organizations nationwide. The statues can be sponsored for $10,000 or bought for $13,500.

Rowan, who served with Air Force intelligence in Vietnam, said the group plans to take the dog on tour to other VA hospitals.

"I think it's a fitting tribute to all the dogs that went out there," said David Frei, spokesman for the American Kennel Club. "It's just another testimony to the good things that our dogs do for us everyday."

Sempers,

Roger

Laamie
11-12-02, 09:53 AM
I was NOT a Dog Handler. But I was their "shotgun" for 9 of my 13 months.
Major
Antied
King
Duke
Ceaser
There's more names but can't remember them at this time. There were 6 teams up on the hill, some either rotated or were injured.

Got a couple photos of the "pups" but can't post with webtv ever since photopoint.com went under.

S/F,
Dick