Location: Gettysburg, PA Sculptor: E. A. Kretschman Dedicated: 12/13/1901
“Sallie,” a brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was the regimental mascot for the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Given to 1st Lt William R. Terry as a four-week old puppy, Sallie grew up among the men of the regiment. Sallie followed the men on marches and to the battlefield. At the Battle of Gettysburg, the dog got separated from the unit. Unable to find her way, Sallie returned to the Union battle line at Oak Ridge, where she stood guard over the dead and wounded. The dog continued her faithful service through February, 1865, when she was struck by a bullet to her head in the battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia. She was buried on the field of battle. For her devotion to the men, Sallie is memorialized at the 11th Pennsylvania monument erected at Gettysburg.”
*All information obtained from the Vietnam Dog Handler Association ( http://www.vdha.us/content15795.html )
To celebrate Veteran’s Day, we took Lager, our retired Explosives Detection Canine, to the War Dog Memorial in Bristol Township, PA.
Few Americans are aware of the invaluable service given by War Dogs teams during the Vietnam War. Dog teams consisting of Scout, Combat Tracker, Sentry, and Mine/Tunnel dogs saved thousands of lives. Routinely braving danger, these intelligent and adaptable dogs would locate injured GI’s, search out Vietcong weapon caches, locate deadly booby traps and would alert and thwart enemy attacks and ambushes.
The handlers responsible for the dog teams lovingly cared for these brave animals. These soldiers literally carried food and water into battle for their faithful friends and protectors.
Despite the impassioned pleas of the handlers these valorous animals were classified as “expendable equipment” at the end of the Vietnam War and were abandoned to unknown fates in South Vietnam. The courage and loyalty of these dogs are honored only in the memories of the soldiers whose lives they protected.
The War Dog Teams were so effective and efficient that’s the Vietcong High Commandissued a bounty on them. Hundreds of War Dogs gave their lives in combat. This memorial is dedicated in honor of all the brave War Dogs from every military conflict.Let us never forget the thousands of War Dog heroes that served with valor during the Vietnam War…
“All gave some, some gave all.”
~from the inscription on part of the Bristol, PA War Dog memorial pictured below:
Since Lager has joined our family, we have tried to keep his nose busy so that he can still feel like he is doing his job. Here is Lager finding Hydrogen Peroxide in our home. Hydrogen Peroxide is just one of the 30-plus explosives ingredients Lager is trained to identify.
With the hopes of getting Lager an invitation to the 2015 DockDogs World Championship held in November, we took a short day trip to Elkton, Maryland with Lager only, since Limoncello and Hooch had already earned invitations for multiple disciplines.
Bill Rohrer from Fox News did a story on Lager! It was nice to meet Bill – he was so nice, and made us feel very comfortable while filming the story at our home. Brian and I had great fun doing this story, as Lager is a very special pup!
Click HERE for the link to the story, and the video of the news feature that was aired: