Memorial Day weekend has arrived and for many... myself included... it means working on projects, cooking out and being with friends and family. Yet, I can't stress enough that even though those things are important to me, what is most important is the meaning of the weekend and the responsibility to pause and honor those who sacrificed so much. The American fighting man and woman are incredibly brave and honorable people. So many times while they suffered, we sat in relative security and peace. So, for that most awesome blessing... I can't thank them enough. So I will attend a Memorial Day service this year, like many years before, and I will remember those who served me so selflessly. And this year I would like to encourage all of you to join me in honoring ALL who served. By "All" I want to include the remarkable service of the American canine.
In every war,on every battlefield, throughout history, dogs have been there. Whether sailing the seas with his master or running alongside a battlefield wagon, dogs have been the loyal companions in war, that we know them to be in everyday life. Some have served in unofficial capacities as camp dogs or unit mascots... and some dogs have served in more official roles. Since WWI, Americans have used dogs for service in the U.S. military. Official American service dogs have been sent ahead in tunnels, searched out explosives and taken down enemy combatants in jungles, deserts, mountains and plains all over the world. All the time these dogs have lovingly and selflessly stayed by their master's side and many times, risked their own life to save their handler. Always these dogs served the cause of freedom out of complete loyalty, which is after all, what we love most about dogs... but these dogs should be honored and set apart for their extraordinary valor.
So I want to again encourage you to honor the American canine on this Memorial Day along with the men and women they have served beside. Take a little time to check out the official site for the American Service Dog memorial. It is humbling to see. And as you cuddle and love your four legged friend this weekend remember the love and comfort that a dogs have given to soldiers, alone and afraid, so far from home.