U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is confident President Trump will sign the defense authorization act Congress approved that includes the creation of the first official military commendation to honor military working dogs and their handlers.
At the U.S War Dog Memorial in Holmdel, Menendez said he’s grateful the legislation he introduced two years ago will be signed to establish the Guardians of America Freedom Medal that recognizes the valor and achievement of military dogs.
“Honoring their service as well as their partner I think is incredibly important. You know we have lost a lot of dogs along the way who gave their lives and others who have been maimed for life. At the end of the day I think it’s the least a grateful nation can do for them and for their handlers.”
Ron Aiello, the president of the U.S War Dog Association, has been trying since 2006 to get the military to have a special award for service dogs and their handlers. He says they’ve saved thousands of lives.
“They are a great asset to our military. They’re our first line of defense. They’re out there in front of the patrols looking for any danger that can harm our troops.”
Navy Petty Officer Ashlea Scully has partnered with nine military service dogs. She’s grateful that dogs could get a medal for their actions.
“I feel they deserve the same amount of tribute and thanks and honor that we would give to any man and woman that has gone before us and fought to defend our freedom and our rights.”