Dogs have been a part of military campaigns for centuries. A military working dog or military war dog (MWD) are specially trained canines that protect their humans in dangerous situations. March 13th has unofficially been set aside to acknowledge and celebrate these unique members of our military forces. 

MWDs are each trained for a specific purpose. Some of the jobs they perform are: 

  • Finding downed airmen in snow and inaccessible regions
  • Pack dogs to transport up to 40lbs of food and supplies
  • Find explosives
  • Find tunnels, booby traps, and mines
  • Assist with guard duty
  • Sentry dogs are used to apprehend suspects
  • Tactical dogs are trained for combat situations
  • Deliver messages during combat
  • Find wounded persons on the battlefield and/or in debris

K9 Veterans Day is still considered an unofficial holiday. The efforts to make Marth 13th an official holiday began by Joe White who was a veteran of the Vietnam War as well as a K9 handler. After his death in October of 2009, his wife Sally continued his efforts to make K9 Veterans day an official holiday. It is hoped that one day it will be celebrated at military war dog memorials across the U.S.